Aquatic Insects

Location: Peavy Pond & Stream (Stream activities can be done at a local stream or school yard stream.)

Season: Fall or Spring

Kit: Insects

2 Hour Field Trip Activities

  • Aquatic Netting – Students use nets and containers to see what they can find and identify in the stream or pond. Large simple charts are used to help kids identify species. Magnifying glasses and containers help students see life up close. Students will find many aquatic larvae and learn about insects.
  • Insect Life Cycle Game – Students work together to put an insect life cycle in order with a team racing game. Colorful 4 stage life cycle pictures show egg, larva, pupa, and adults. Students see complete and incomplete insect metamorphosis. Learn about key local aquatic insect species.
  • Larva Swim Game – Students become mosquito larvae trying to survive as a key prey species in a wetland environment with an active game. Larvae must travel past many predators to the water surface to breathe through the snorkel (bottom) and return back to the pond’s muddy deep bottom.
  • Web of Life – This group activity gets students to look at animals and plants living at the pond and how they are connected and depend on each other. They connect the components of the ecosystem and discover how every living thing has an important role.


Insect Investigators

Location: Any

Season: Any

Kit: Insects

1 or 2 Hour Field Trip Activities

  • Trail Hike – Trained instructors lead children in discovering different species.
  • Insect Investigation Bingo – Interactive game on trail looking for signs of insects.
  • Micro Hike – Within a small group students will see up close how many insects and non-insects they can find looking closely with small bug boxes and hand magnifiers.
  • Insect Life Cycle Activity – An active look at common land insect life cycles.
  • Arthropods – Insects are the biggest family in the class of arthropods. Learn about the different arthropod groups and how to tell each group apart through an active game with counting, describing and learning. Then view live examples of the species.

Combine both field trips for a full day adventure!

Classroom or Nature Center Visits

1 Hour Lesson and Activity Options

Water Droplet – Journey as a water droplet through the water cycle with a random unpredictable path ahead. Students will roll dice to see where they will go. Many travel to the clouds and so many wait in the ocean. Educational adventures in water continue with every roll. Graph results to bring great math fun into your classroom.

Insect Investigator – Take a hike to find live insects. Depending on the Season, we will use different locations from downed trees to wetlands. This can be done on school grounds or other natural areas. Identify insect species and view adaptations. Use scientific tools like hand magnifiers, nets, bug viewers and species keys.

Hands-On Insect – Hold live walking sticks! View and discuss body parts and adaptations, and incomplete vs. complete metamorphosis. Play an active game to understand insect life cycles!

Mammal Mania – Get hands-on with mammal skulls and furs. Look at local species and their adaptations. Explore the scientific method through mammal tracks. Then, create your own track story using common mammals tracks stamping.

Wetland Wonders (Outdoor Nature Center Program) – Local flooding from the Mary’s River creates an amazing wetland ecosystem that explodes with life each spring. Find and identify different aquatic invertebrates like insects, crustaceans, isopods, copepods, and arthropods. (Note: This program depends on rain and is usually suitable from March to early May. Students must wear waterproof boots.)