California Science Standard:
As a result of participating in this lesson students will be
demonstrate confidence in handling a cricket
demonstrate proper use of a magnifier
describe the general physical appearance of a
cricket, e.g., color of the body, number of legs, presence of
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.
show a desire to take care of a cricket and
further study the animal
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
Science Content Background
A cricket is an insect because it has six legs.
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
Materials management: Identify student
helpers (2): One to distribute the containers with crickets; One
to distribute magnifiers; Two to collect all materials after the
Distribute the crickets after all directions have been
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
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
(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
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:
||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
||Student uses the magnifier and clearly
identifies and makes detailed observations of small and large body
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
||The student makes
and effort to handle the animal but does so
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.