Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students compare the structure of a bee and an ant. They discover how these anatomical structures relate to function and help the animal to survive. Activity adapted from Activate Your Students: An inquiry-based learning approach to sustainability.

Learning goals:

  • Students compare the structures of two closely related insects – an ant and a bee. 
  • They start to apply their understanding of how structure relates to function and helps the animal to survive.
  • They apply the common words used to describe insect features.

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 3 Science

  • Living things can be grouped on the basis of observable features and can be distinguished from non-living things (ACSSU044)
  • Represent and communicate ideas and findings in a variety of ways such as diagrams, physical representations and simple reports (ACSIS060)

Year 3 English

  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts demonstrating increasing control over text structures and language features and selecting print,and multimodal elements appropriate to the audience and purpose (ACELY1682)

Year 4 Science

  • Living things, including plants and animals, depend on each other and the environment to survive (ACSSU073)
  • Represent and communicate ideas and findings in a variety of ways such as diagrams, physical representations and simple reports (ACSIS071)
Year 4 English
  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts containing key information and supporting details for a widening range of audiences, demonstrating increasing control over text structures and language features (ACELY1694)

Syllabus OutcomesST2-4WS, ST2-10LW, EN2-2A

Topic: Biodiversity

Year levels: 3 and 4

Indoor or outdoor activity: Indoor

Time required: 45 mins

Learning areas addressed: Science.

Resources required: Printed activity sheets, art materials.

Homework and extension opportunities: Opportunities for additional activities.

Keywords: Ant, bee, function, structure, adaptation, features, thorax, abdomen.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

Teacher preparation

It has been suggested that there are between six and ten million species of insects in the world and make up nearly 90% of all the Earth’s animal species. You could spend your whole life looking at insects all day, every day and still never see all the insects in the world. Insects can be found all around us from our gardens, indoors, forests, freshwater habitats, etc.

Instructions

Students are to work on the Student Worksheet provided.

Once complete, ask students to complete a quick pair-share, where they discuss their findings with the neighbour. 

Which words are familiar and which are not? Ask the class to discuss the unfamiliar words. Can they make any rule that will help them remember which part of an insect is the thorax and which is the abdomen?

Additional activity

Ask students to work independently or in groups to research one of the insects in more detail. Ask them to consider the following points:

  • Where does this animal live?
  • What does it eat?
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Student Worksheet

This is a picture of an ant, the sort that we might find in our gardens in Australia. There are as many as 1,275 species of ant in Australia and scientists believe there could be thousands more! Ants are insects because they have six legs. They belong to one of the many insect families called Formicidae. Write the family name and its common name on the lines below. Then label the drawing below with the correct body parts by drawing straight lines with a ruler between the body part and the name. Colour in your ant.

Common name:

Family name:

 

This is a picture of a honeybee, the sort that we find in our gardens in Australia. It is not native to Australia but was introduced here by early European settlers to ensure a good supply of honey.The family name is Apoidea. Write or type this scientific name and its common name on the lines below. Then label the drawing below with the correct body parts by drawing straight lines with a ruler between the body part and the name. Colour in y

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