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  Entomology Department > Insect Zoo > Lesson Plans

Alphabetical Insects

Grade Level

Elementary-Middle School


One hour for discussion, another one to two weeks for collecting information and writing.


Students will use the internet, the library, and other sources to create a list of insects beginning with each letter of the alphabet. Students should provide the common name, the resource where it was found, and a brief description of each insect. Students can focus on habitat, anatomy, life cycle, or niche for each insect.


1. Students will learn about the diverse world of insects.

2. Students will learn to research the internet, library, and other sources.

Discussion: Diversity in the Insect Class

As the student researches and finds the names of insects that begin with each letter of the alphabet--and by providing a short description of each--he or she will learn more about the diversity of organisms. The student's focus on the different characteristics, food chains, life cycles, habitats, and similarities will help him or her to better understand basic biological principles.

By using the internet, library and other resources, the student will learn the value of learning tools. He or she will also develop an understanding of research documentation.



Conclusion and Review

Have the student analyze how easy or difficult it was to match each letter of the alphabet with a common name. How many was the student able to match from memory? Have the student describe his or her experiences when researching the internet. What was the most unusual insect? What information was most surprising to you? What did he or she learn about diversity?

© 2004 Iowa State University Entomology Department. Last modified 3/15/04 by John VanDyk.