The ACCESS INDIANA Teaching & Learning Center
Lesson Plans Archive
AUTHOR: Vicky Maddy
APPROPRIATE GROUP SIZE(S):
Whole Class: Yes
Small Group: Yes
TIME REQUIRED: 30 minutes per day over several days.
- Apply the scientific method.
- Observe the mealworm over a period of a life cycle change.
- Record their observations concerning size, appearance, and activity.
- Graph the results of their size measurements.
- Learn the stages of growth for insects.
- Be able to identify an insect; 6 legs, 3 body segments, exoskeleton.
INDIANA STATE UPPER ELEMENTARY/INTERMEDIATE SCIENCE PROFICIENCIES:
- Proficiency 1.1 - Values and Attitudes:
Students should keep records of their investigations and observations and not change the records later.
- Proficiency 2.2 - Scientific Inquiry:
Students should know that: scientific investigations may take many forms, including observing what things are like or what is happening somewhere, collecting specimens for analysis, and doing experiments. Investigations can focus on physical, biological, and social questions.
- Proficiency 3.1 - Diversity of Life:
Students should know that:
- A great variety of kinds of living things can be sorted into groups in many ways using various features to decide which things belong to which group.
- Features used for grouping depend on the purpose of the grouping.
- Proficiency 4.4 Interdependence of Life:
Students should know that:
- For any particular environment, some kinds of plants and animals survive
well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
- Insects and various other organisms depend on dead plant and animal
material for food.
- Changes in an organism's habitat are sometimes beneficial to it and
- Proficiency 7.2 Symbolic Relationships:
Students should know that
tables and graphs can show how values of one quantity are related to
values of another.
MATERIALS and RESOURCES:
- 1 mealworm per child (with a few extras available)
- 1 baby food jar per child
- cornmeal (1 to 2 inches in each jar)
- masking tape (to label the jar for student identification and mealworm
- Maker and pens
- 1 paper towel per student
- 1 metric ruler per student
- a slice of potato or apple per student
- Have a sheet prepared with the Scientific Method labeled and spaces
between each section for the children to write. Use the following sections:
Problem, Research, Hypothesis, Procedure, Results, Conclusion
- Make sure each child has paper to make a daily journal of what the insect
looks like and its' size. Be sure they include drawings.
- Each student is given the materials needed for the experiment.
They inspect the mealworm and begin their observations about it.
- Students are given the Scientific Method sheet and the Journal material.
The class writes the problem to be answered as: What will the Meal worm
change into? (You may want to skip the research section of the scientific
method so they will be surprised that it changes into a beetle. Then talk later about how research would have shown the answer quickly).
- Each student will write in their journals and measure the mealworm for data.
- Observations need to be made and recorded daily. When the slice of apple
or potato dries out, a new piece may be needed.
- During this time, experiments can be made varying the conditions of the
mealworm. (i.e. temperature, food, or light)
- Graphing can be done depending on the variables used in the experiments.
(See Science Experiments & Nature Studies : Macmillan Instant Activities
- Creative writing, drawings, journaling and graphing can be done throughout
this writing period. Also, literature should be used.
At the end of this project, an oral or written test over the 4 stages of growth
of an insect can be given.
This hands-on activity allows children to see the stages of growth in a mealworm. It also gives them a chance to apply the scientific method for the first time.
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