Guided Discovery Lesson Plan

Topic: Insects: Getting to Know Your Cricket                                 Teacher's Name: .................

Grade Level: 3

Pre-Instructional Planning

California Science Standard:

Performance Objectives:
As a result of participating in this lesson students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate confidence in handling a cricket

  2. demonstrate proper use of a magnifier

  3. describe the general physical appearance of a cricket, e.g., color of the body, number of legs, presence of wings, etc.

  4. construct an enlarged drawing of a cricket that correctly shows the following body parts: head, thorax, and abdomen, antennae, limbs and their location, wings, and eyes.

  5. show a desire to take care of a cricket and further study the animal

  6. identify insects by their characteristic feature of having six legs

List of Materials

For the teacher

1 - KWL chart

For each pair of students

1 - Cricket in an enclosed transparent container
1 - Magnifier
1 - Sheet of drawing paper*

For each table

1- set of color pencils*

* = Placed on student tables before activity begins.

Science Content Background
A cricket is an insect because it has six legs. 

Instructional Planning

Lead the students in a discussion about crickets.  Use the following questions in the discussion:
How many of you have crickets around your homes?
Have any of you caught a cricket and taken a close look at it?
How would you describe what a cricket looks like?
Record student comments about cricket body parts in a KWL chart.
Ask students what they would like to discover about a cricket? 
    Record student comments in KWL chart
Tell students, "The purpose of today's lesson is to let you closely observe or see a cricket. 
Your task is to make close observations of the cricket and be able to describe its body parts"

To successfully do the activity review the following standards:

  • Care for the cricket:  "The cricket you will get is alive and will be given to you in a closed plastic container.  Be gentle with the animal.  Make sure the cricket stays in the container.  Do not take it out for any reason."

  • Groups and Roles:  Establish the table groups and pairs. 
    Each pair of students will get one container with a cricket and a magnifier.  Establish how the magnifier is to be shared.

  • Behavior Management:  "During the activity period keep your voices down to a 'six-inch level'
    Stay in your groups."

  • Time Management: "You have 10 minutes to look at the cricket and discover all the body parts.  During this time you should carefully draw a large picture of the animal.

  • Materials management:  Identify student helpers (2): One to distribute the containers with crickets; One to distribute magnifiers; Two to collect all materials after the activity.
    Distribute the crickets after all directions have been given

Tell students the task: "Your task is to make close observations of the cricket."  Model how to use the magnifier.  Show how large a picture they should draw.  If students need more help with understanding the task ask them to describe a common object to help them identify large and small parts.

  • Establish Quality Criteria:  A good drawing will show all the body parts in their right places and in the right size.  Use your color pencils to make your picture realistic. Illustrate how large the drawing is to be."


After the activity and after all the materials have been returned ask the students the following questions:

  • Tell me what you saw about your cricket?

  • What did you see on the head of the animal? (Introduce the following terms: eyes, antennae, etc.)

  • What did you see on the body (Introduce the following terms: wings, legs.)

  • What was the color of the animal?

  • How many legs did the cricket have? 

  • How does the cricket's legs compare with our own hands and legs?

  • How does the cricket use its hind legs, its fore legs?

  • (Define an insect as an animal with six legs?)

  • Can you name other animals that can be called an insect? (Make a list of insects)

Have students share their drawings with the rest of the class.
Ask students what they learned and add information to the KWL chart to indicate what students have learned.

Have students add to the list of insects started above.  Start an insect collection. Start a collection of insect pictures.

Evaluate student work using the following criteria: 




Observation Skills Student uses the magnifier but does so inconsistently.  Does not make detailed observations of small body parts.  Student uses the magnifier and makes detailed observations of two or three small body parts.  Describes the large body parts accurately. Student uses the magnifier and clearly identifies and makes detailed observations of small and large body parts
Drawing The student sketches the animal.  Several body parts are identifiable, some are missing, but the drawing has many errors of relative size, location and shape. The student has the major body parts in the drawing but there are errors of relative size, shape and location. Student shows several body parts such as head, thorax, legs and wings, that are correctly located and drawn to proportion
Affect The student makes and effort to handle the animal but does so reluctantly.  The student handles the animal but is not eager to take care of it. Student shows confidence in handling the cricket and show a desire to care for the animal.