STEM Week: Insect Adaptations
“Adaptation is the process whereby a group of organisms becomes better suited to its environment over the course of many generations.” Today you will explore a lesson from the California Academy of Sciences about how insects have adapted to live in different habitats.

Today’s Activities


Watch this BrainPOP video to learn more about insects.  Look at these pictures of different arthropods; based on what you learned, decide if each one is an insect or not an insect; then see if you can label the parts of an insect.  

Think about the body parts of an insect.  What type of mouth part would best help an insect that sips nectar from flowers? Or, that sucks blood from another animal?  What body design would help an insect to hide and then pounce on its prey?  Keep these types of questions in mind as you choose one of these habitats and design an insect that is well suited to that environment using these worksheets. If you cannot print the worksheets, use your own paper.

Engineers use ideas that they steal from nature in many of their designs.  Learn more about this process, called biomimicry, in this video. Can you think of a body structure of an insect that might be a good design for human technology?  Draw and label a diagram of a design that uses biomimicry; if you can, make a physical model using clay and whatever you can find around the home and take a picture when you finish sharing with your teacher.


Science, Technology and Engineering often use Mathematics.  That is why it is called STEM!  Sharpen your math skills with these problems, and be sure to share your thinking with someone.

Leveled learning extension 1: Reinforce your math skills with these pages which offer more basic math problems!

Leveled learning extension 2: Tease your brain with these worksheets to target foundational math skills!

Worksheet 1

Worksheet 2

quick write

Take a break, find a quiet place and try this quick write from Jennifer Buteau.

Let's move!

Use some of your “insect skills” to get some physical activity to keep your body healthy. What can you climb? What can you jump onto and off of? What can you crawl under? Set up an obstacle course and time yourself and others moving through it. Can you beat the record?

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