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O. Orkin Insect Zoo


This creepy-crawly site features interdisciplinary lessons, work sheets, QuickTime movies, and all the information you would ever need to know about arthropods.


Text and graphics are balanced in a pleasing arrangement.


Visitors can navigate the major sections of the site from the frame on the left of the page. The Insect Zoo requires frames and offers a downloadable version of its activities in Adobe Acrobat format.


This well-designed and comprehensive teaching unit on arthropods was created through the Natural Partners Initiative at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and Mississippi State University. Guests can take a virtual tour of the Insect Zoo by clicking on an interactive map of the actual layout at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. Teachers can find many activities at the Teacher Resources section. Developers of the site have also included comments on the adherence to the national standards. Kids will love the virtual reality of examining insects using QuickTime, the watching the tarantula feeding QuickTime movie, and listening to the rain forest sound files. There is also a glossary available in a pop-up window for difficult words. The Insect Zoo has many great ideas that can keep a classroom involved for weeks working with live insects, writing, experimenting, discovering, and "pollinating the mind."