Download This Lesson: Nibble, Sip, and Grind
Brief Description: Students will learn about different insect mouth parts and how that impacts their diet. They will observe, compare and contrast the three types of mouth parts using new vocabulary from the lesson. Students will also make hypotheses and experiment using variations of the three feeding types.
Focus Areas: Animal Lifestyles; Science, Math
Focus Skills: comparing and contrasting, observing, forming a hypothesis, drawing conclusions
To understand that the variety in insect mouthparts are adaptations to their diet
- What do insects eat?
- How do insects eat?
Insects’ mouths are adapted to eat food within their environment.
Insects have a variety of ways to obtain nourishment. Mosquitoes, adult fleas, lice, and some flies puncture tissue with a slender beak, a PROBOSCIS, and suck the fluids within. Butterflies, moths, and bees also dine on fluids, but their PROBOSCIS lacks the piercing adaptation and is extended only when their feet touch and “taste “a sweet solution. A spongy tip, LABELLUM, on the tip of the PROBOSCIS allows most flies to sop up liquids or easily soluble food. Other insects like ants, grasshoppers, beetles, and caterpillars nibble and grind their food with jaws, MANDIBLES, which move horizontally.
labellum – the spongy tip of some insects’ proboscis
mandibles – the chewing mouth parts of some insects
proboscis – the slender feeding tube of some insects
Time: 30 minutes, Group Size: 5 to 30, Space: an area large enough for children to move about comfortably
- juice box with straw
- assorted food stuffs: cereal, juice, Jell-O®, ice cream, pudding cups, popcorn, apple sauce, oranges, pretzels, bread, lettuce
- a stuffed animal or two
- a soft bodied doll
- a display board for group work
- insect pictures from Insect Babies and Adults
- Picture Card Set *
- Handout 1 “Individual Tally Sheet” with answer key*
* single copy provided
- Gather food to be used in the lesson.
- Based on the sample food you have chosen to use, complete Handout 1 and make enough copies for each child.
Correlations to State of Maine Learning Results: Parameters for Essential Instruction
ELA = English Language Arts, HE/PE = Health Education and Physical Education, MA = Mathematics, SCI = Science, SS = Social Studies, VPA = Visual and Performing Arts
** Alignment possible only if lesson extension is done
Maine Learning Results
MA – B. Data
**B2. Students read, construct, and interpret picture graphs.
(**Extension: Students construct a picture graphs and a bar graph based on tallies.)
SCI – A. Systems
A1. Students recognize that parts work together, and make
up whole man-made and natural objects.
a. Explain that most man-made and natural objects are
made of parts.
b. Explain that when put together, parts can do things
they could not do separately.
A2. Students identify models and the objects they
represent to learn about their features.
b. Use a model as a tool to describe the motion of
objects or the features of plants and animals.
MA – B. Data
**B2. (Grade 3) Students read, construct, and interpret bar
(Grade 4) Students collect and represent data in
tables, line plots, and bar graphs, and read and
interpret these types of data.
(Grade 5) Students read, construct and interpret line
(**Extension: Students in grades 3 & 4 construct bar graphs, In Grade 5, students construct line graphs of tally results.)
SCI – A. Systems
A1. Students explain interactions between parts that make
up whole man-made and natural things.
a. Give examples that show how individual parts of
organisms, ecosystems, or man-made structures
can influence one another.
b. Explain ways that things including organisms, eco-
systems, or man-made structures may not work as
well (or at all) if a part is missing, broken, worn out,
mismatched, or misconnected.
A2. Students use models to represent objects, processes,
and events from the physical setting, the living
environment, and the technological world.