Insect Scavenger Hunt

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Students will be able to classify organisms as insects by completing a scavenger hunt.

Big Idea

The students have learned the basic characteristics of insects. Now it is time to have fun apply those characteristics is this classification activity that gets students up and moving.

Materials and Prep

15 minutes

Materials Needed:

  • Insect Scavenger Hunt Creatures included as PDF with this lesson.  You will need one copy for every 6 students.  I laminate the sheet before I cut it apart, so I have it for future use. 
  • magnifying glasses, paper binoculars, etc (optional)


After I have printed, laminated and cut apart the creatures, I hide them around the classroom while the students are not in the room.  I gather small plastic magnifying classes for the students to use, but this is not necessary.


5 minutes

To open this lesson, we begin by reviewing the characteristics of insects that we have learned in the previous lesson.  I gather the students in front of the board and I ask the students to share the characteristics and I record each one.  I coach them on any they may not have remembered.  The following are the characteristics that we used:

  • Insects have three body parts.
  • Insects have six legs.
  • Insects have two pairs of wings.
  • Insects have a pair of antennae.
  • Insects go through life cycle changes called metamorphosis.

After I record the students responses, I tell them, We are going to use what we learned about insects to participate in a scavenger hunt.  Let's go back to our seats to get our directions. 

Scavenger Hunt

10 minutes

I give the students directions, We are going to be going on a scavenger hunt.  You will use your magnifying glass to help you find one card that has an insect on it and one that has something that is not an insect.  When you find your two cards, come and show me them.  Be prepared to tell me WHY you classified them the way you did.  If you said, something is an insect, I want to know why.

The students begin their hunt and begin their creatures to me.  I ask them questions to help them verbalize their rationale if they are unable to share it with me.  See video.  The important part of this activity is not the actual scavenger hunt, but rather, the practice the students are getting in defending their classification and the arguments that they are posing to do so.  Finding the creature is fun; applying the characteristics of an insect to that creature is the serious learning that is happening. 

After the students have all shared their creatures with me, we clean up and prepare for independent practice. 

Independent Practice and Informal Assessment

15 minutes

Materials Needed

  • The Insect Book included as a PDF with this lesson.  There are two copies of per set of pages.  Run the book, choosing the "double side staple" option on the copy machine.  If you cut the book in the middle, you will have two books.
  • pencil
  • glue
  • scissors
  • colors

I distribute the books to the students and have them write their name at the top of the book.  I say to them, You are going to show me some of your reading skills and how well you know the difference between insects and other animals  You are going to tear of the back page of the book and cut out the pictures.  Put them out where you can see them.  Then, look at each page of the book.  Read the underlined word, then find the picture that matches the word.  Glue that picture into your book.  Then read the sentence if it is an insect "is an".  If it is not an insect, circle "is not".   On the last page, you need to read the sentence and fill in the blank as well.  If you need any help reading the words, raise your hand and I will help you. If you get your book done, you can begin coloring.  If you don't get done coloring, that's just fine.  You can color it at home.

The students begin working and I circulate around the room to observe their work and provide assistance as needed.  When the students complete their work, I have them begin coloring in their book.  When everyone is done, we begin the closing section of the lesson. 


5 minutes

For the closing section of this lesson, I partner the students up and I have them read their book to their partner.  I encourage them to ask their partner why a certain creature is considered an insect.  Several of the students wanted to read their book to me as well.

It is important to utilize times outside of literacy instruction to allow students to enhance their reading skills.  This book has a predictable text that allows students to be successful and build their confidence.  They also get exposure to expository texts during the reading of this book.  Anytime there is time to practice reading, I will take it!