Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this activity students will look for bugs in the garden, observe them and see how they behave under a spotlight.

These Snappy Science resources have been created to boost science education in primary schools across Australia. Each lesson is designed to support teachers with the scientific knowledge, ideas and resources to stimulate a sense of wonder and curiosity in their students. Many of the big issues that Australian society will face in the future are around technology, energy, resources and climate change. All of these require students to engage with science – but most of all to enjoy science!

Science at Home: These Snappy Science resources can also be used to engage families in fun science and learning for life. You can download a student friendly version of this activity here and you can also check out the Snappy Science Digital Library.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking.

Australian Curriculum content description: This activity is relevant to Science Inquiry Skills across all primary year levels of the Australian Curriculum.

Year 1 Science

  • Living things live in different places where their needs are met (ACSSU211)

Year 3 Science

  • Living things can be grouped on the basis of observable features and can be distinguished from non-living things (ACSSU044)

Year 4 Science

  • Living things, including plants and animals, depend on each other and the environment to survive (ACSSU073)

Year 6 Science

  • The growth and survival of living things are affected by the physical conditions of their environment (ACSSU094)

Syllabus OutcomesST1-11LW, ST2-10LW, ST2-10LW, ST3-11LW.

Time required: 15 – 20 minutes to find bugs, 10 minutes after observation time after several hours.

Resources required: Large plastic soft drink bottle, scissors, garden soil, a lamp with a non-led light that produces heat, magnifying glass, bugs! 

Safety advice: Ensure students are aware of dangerous spiders and check with teachers before handling spiders. Assist students with cutting the top of the bottle off. Depending on student age and ability this activity may be either a student-led experiment or a teacher-led demonstration.

Keywords: Bugs, dark, light, bottle, soil.

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


Teacher Worksheet

Brief summary:

In this activity students will look for bugs in the garden, observe them and see how they behave under a spotlight.

Students can use the Predict, Observe, Explain table on the Student Worksheet to describe and reflect upon this experiment.

You will need:

  • Large plastic soft drink bottle
  • Scissors
  • Garden soil
  • Lamp
  • Magnifying glass

What to do:

Step 1. Cut the top third of a large plastic soft drink bottle off.

Step 2. Take the lid off and put the top part of the bottle upside down inside the bottom part.

Step 3. Find some garden soil with dead leaves around it and fill the top part of the bottle with this soil.

Step 4. Put the bottle under a lamp and leave for two hours.

Step 5. You should find that some bugs burrow their way out of the soil and into the bottom part of the bottle.

How does it work?

The bugs are trying to get as far away from the heat and the light as they can!

Take it further

Make a house for the bugs in your garden to keep them co

- or - to view worksheets

Student Worksheet

In this activity you will be looking for bugs in the garden, and observing how they behave under a spotlight.


Explain what you think will happen:


Explain what happened:


Explain why you think this happened:

- or - to view worksheets

Leave your Feedback

We appreciate your feedback. Let us know what you like or don't like about this activity:

Sorry. You must be logged in to view this form.