EXPLORATION

UPPER ELEMENTARY  |  INSECTS
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Looking Closer at Pests

Students will learn how pests spread and how to control them.

Time

45 Minutes

Setting

Inside

Collection Group

SCARECROWS AND LADYBUGS

 

Standards

  • S3L2a. Students will explain the effects of pollution to the habitats of plants and animals.
  • S3L2b. Students will identify ways to protect the environment (conservation of resources, recycling of materials).

Materials

  • Copy of Bugs vs Plants Simulation Cards

Procedures

  • Assign plant and bug roles to students.

Plant Roles

3+ Squash Plant
3+ Corn Plant
3+ Bean Plant

Bug Roles
3 Squash Bug (Can only move to another squash plant that can be reached from the original squash plant.Three bugs on a squash plant kills the plant.)

3 Corn Worm (Can only move to another corn plant that can be reached from the original corn plant.Three bugs on a corn plant kills the plant.)

3 Bean Plant Bug (Can only move to another bean plant that can be reached from the original bean plant.Three bugs on a bean plant kills the plant.)

3 Lady Bug (Eats any garden pest it can touch.Can move from any plant to any other plant.)

  • Explain to students to the students that are playing the part of plants to arrange themselves in monocultures, an arms-length apart. A monoculture is a planting of one species. Then introduce the bug students and explain the rules for movement and infestation. Allow the game to play and for plants to be killed (sit down), if infested by three bugs of the correct species.
  • In the second round, students rearrange themselves in a diverse planting, next to different species. Release the bugs again and compare results.
  • Discuss with students the method of pest control that was modeled here and compare with using chemical pesticides.

 

Explorations in this Collection

Bee

Looking Closer at Beneficial Insects

bughand

Hunting for Bugs