Parts of an Insect

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Students will be be able to identify the parts of an insect by labeling a diagram and comparing them to their own body parts.

Big Idea

Insects are characterized by having three distinct body parts and 6 legs.


10 minutes

I ask that students come to the meeting place so we can continue working on our insect unit. 

I start this lesson by showing them a diagram of an insect. This can be done with a purchased poster, a teacher made poster, a book, or picture on the internet.

I use a picture that I drew and had laminated. This way, I can save it from year to year, yet I can write on it with a dry erase marker and erase it.

I have the picture hanging up on the wall and I say to the students, "Take a minute to just look at this picture of an insect and think about how the parts of the insect are alike or different to your own body."

I give students 30-60 seconds to do this.

I then ask them if there is anything they want to share about what they saw. I call on students with their hand raised.

As we talk about this as a class, I begin to label the parts that the students are talking about. If they have a difficult time with it, I may need to ask some probing questions.

I may ask:

"Does the insect have any parts that are the same as you? Are there parts on an insect that you do not have?"

When the discussion is over, I will have labeled the main parts of the insect; head, thorax, abdomen, antennae, wings, compound eyes.

I then go on to teach the students a song to remember these parts.  I ask students to stand up on the rug. First, I teach them the words to the song. (There are many, many versions of this song.  Several of them can be found on YouTube by searching "Head, Thorax, Abdomen Songs".)

The version I use is:


Teaching kindergarten students a simple, recognizable song, helps them to remember the parts of the insect and learn new vocabulary.

After teaching the song, we practice it several times in order for students to have it down.

Independent Practice

15 minutes

After practicing the song a few times, until I feel students have it down, I ask them to go back to their seats.

I pass out science journals.  I ask students to turn to the next blank page.

Together as a class, we draw an insect in our science journal. I have my journal under the document camera and projected on the board so that the students can see it as a reference. This is a strategy called guided diagramming.

While working on this, I use my turn taking sticks to call names out to help me remember what parts my picture insect will need. I remind students that they can refer back to the song if needed.

We all get an insect drawn in our journals. I then pass out a paper that has all of the names of the parts of the insect. I explain that like real scientists, we are going to label our diagram of the insect.

I explain that students will cut each word out and glue it to match the part that it goes with.

Before allowing them to begin this piece, I will first cut out the words myself and read the words to the class. I place them in the pocket chart.

I explain that students can ask a friend or ask a teacher to help them read the words as needed.

I give students several minutes to complete the labeling.

It is important to walk around the room to be able to help students with disabilities and/or students that are English language learners by helping them sound out the new vocabulary word and using cues from the song to help them identify what body part to label.  Often times, I will need to reread the words for some students or help guide them in remembering what the terms mean.


5 minutes

To close this lesson, I ask students to stand up next to their chair and participate in one last singing of the insect parts song.

This time, I do not participate in the song. I want to walk around and check for understanding. I'm looking for students who may need more practice with the song in order to solidify the names of the body parts.

After watching, I will make a note to myself of who I think may need more practice. At another time, I will pull these students separately and reteach the parts of the insect using the song and the chart that we created in the opening of this lesson.

I want to make sure that all students have learned the parts and can name them independently.