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Going Buggy

A WebQuest for Grades 2-5



This spring, your town's nature director has decided to conduct insect safaris in the park. Your class has been asked to create a field guide to help those who go on the safaris learn about the insects they see.


You and your classmates will research the most common species of insects and create a field guide about some of the insects that live in your area. Each field guide page will include information about one insect -- what it looks like, where it lives, what it eats, and how it hurts and/or helps people.


Insects, like people, are part of the Animal Kingdom. The animal kingdom includes two large groups -- vertebrates, animals that have backbones, and invertebrates, animals without backbones. Insects are invertebrates that belong to the arthropod phylum. All arthropods have a segmented body, an even number of legs, and a hard outer shell -- or exoskeleton. Insects are a class of arthropods that have six legs and a body made up of three parts -- the head, the thorax, and the abdomen.

Scientists have categorized insects into about 34 different species or orders. Some of those species include only a few insects. Other species of insects are very rare. The nature director in your town has decided that the people who go on his insect safaris will look for bugs in the ten largest species of insects. Those ten species are Orthoptera, Coleoptera, Lepidoptera, Diptera, Hymenoptera, Hemiptera, Homoptera, Dermaptera, Odonata, and Isoptera. Your teacher will assign one of those ten insect orders to you and one or two of your classmates. When you have your assignment, follow the directions below to complete the project.

  • Step 1: Work in groups of two or three to research your assigned insect order. Learn what the insects in that order look like, how they behave, what their life cycle is like, and other interesting or important information about them. Take notes about what you learn
  • Step 2: Use your notes to complete an insect order field guide worksheet. Include on the page the requested information as well as a photograph or drawing of a typical insect in that order.
  • Step 3: Have each member of your group choose one insect from your assigned order, research that insect, and complete an insect field guide worksheet. Be sure to include the requested information as well as a photograph or drawing of that insect.
  • Step 4: Present your work to your classmates.
  • Step 5: Combine your work with your classmates' pages to create an insect field guide. Be sure to include your insect order page as well as your insect field guide page in the field guide.




ORTHOPTERA (grasshoppers and crickets)

COLEOPTERA (beetles)

LEPIDOPTERA (butterflies and moths)

DIPTERA (flies and mosquitoes)

HYMENOPTERA (ants, wasps, and bees)

HEMIPTERA (true bugs)

HOMOPTERA (aphids and cicadas)

DERMAPTERA (earwigs)

ODONATA (dragonflies and damselflies)

BLATTODEA (cockroaches and termites)


Your grade will reflect:

  • the accuracy of your research. (10 percent)
  • the accuracy of your drawings. (20 percent)
  • the quality of your final presentation. (30 percent)
  • your contribution to entire field guide. (20 percent)
  • the quality of your oral presentation. (10 percent)


Use your field guide pages to create a PowerPoint slide show of your bug field guide.

Click here for the A Bug Safari Teacher Page.

Article by Linda Starr
Education World®
Copyright © 2004 Education World

Updated 11/15/2019