K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

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The world of a butterfly
The transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly is one of nature's most amazing feats. These photographs show the development of an eastern black swallowtail butterfly from egg to larva to chrysalis to adult.
Format: slideshow (multiple pages)
Incredible insect mouths
This lesson shows children that insects have different kinds of mouths. It also notes the kinds of foods that different insects eat. It is a hands-on experiment type of lesson in which the children act as insects and use different tools for their “mouths.”
Format: lesson plan (grade 4 Science)
By Kelly Stewart.
Bugs, bugs, bugs
This lesson integrates writing and the study of insects by having the students create a book following the pattern of How Many Bugs in a Box? by David A. Carter.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–1 Computer/Technology Skills, English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science)
By Vicki Rivenbark.
Biodiversity: The many sounds of insects
In BioMusic, page 1.6
In this lesson, students will explore the sounds of insects and compare them with bird songs. They will create pan flutes and use them for communication.
Format: lesson plan (grade 2–3 Music Education and Science)
By Debra Hall and Crystal Patillo.
Eastern black swallowtail butterfly: Second larval instar
Eastern black swallowtail butterfly: Second larval instar
The larva clings to the stem of a parsley plant. Although butterfly and moth caterpillars appear to have many legs, as insects, they have only six true legs -- visible here just behind the larva's head.
Format: image
Getting to know spiders
This lesson is useful for helping students understand the differences between spiders and insects. They will also learn about a spider's particular body parts. Live spiders will be observed over the course of a few days to see how sound, light, and movement affect the spiders.
Format: lesson plan (grade 2 Science)
By Bree Welmaker.
Venus flytrap
In Forests and fires: The longleaf pine savanna, page 14
Figure 13 shows the most famous rare plant of longleaf pine savannas, the Venus flytrap. These predatory plants capture and digest insects between the folds of their specialized leaves. You can see the comb-like extensions of the leaf edges that interface...
By Dirk Frankenberg.
North Carolina State University Insect Museum
Bring insects into your classroom and learn about their life cycles, habitats, behaviors, and more!
Format: article/field trip opportunity
Pocosin wetland
In Wetlands of the coastal plains, page 6
Our next two stops on this wetland tour will complete our visits to upland sites. You should consider yourself blessed that you can visit pocosins and pond pine woodlands by virtual means because they both are characterized by thick vegetation, wet and slippery...
By Dirk Frankenberg.
William Byrd graphic organizer
This graphic organizer will aid students' comprehension as they read excerpts from a journal written by William Byrd, a wealthy plantation owner from Virginia who was one of several men commissioned to survey the boundary between Virginia and North Carolina in 1728.
Format: chart/lesson plan (grade 8 Social Studies)
By Pauline S. Johnson.
Peacock butterfly
Peacock butterfly
Format: image/photograph
Willet
Willet
The willet (Catoptrophorus semipalmata) is a type of sandpiper whose common name derives from its call. Willets are large shorebirds that feed on insects, crustaceans, and plants.
Format: image/photograph
Eastern black swallowtail butterfly
Eastern black swallowtail butterfly
Format: image/photograph
Eastern black swallowtail butterfly: Third larval instar
Eastern black swallowtail butterfly: Third larval instar
The larva on a flowering parsley plant.
Format: image/photograph
Long-billed curlews
Long-billed curlews
The long-billed curlew (Numenius americanus) is a large shorebird that gets its common name from its long, curved bill. It feeds on insects and crustaceans.
Format: image/photograph
Eastern black swallowtail butterfly: Third larval instar
Eastern black swallowtail butterfly: Third larval instar
Thirteen days out of the egg, the larva is growing rapidly.
Format: image/photograph
Wasp larvae
Wasp larvae
Photograph of a wasp nest. Some larvae are inside the nest; others are lying nearby.
Format: image/photograph
Spiders and monarchs and bees, oh my!
Exploring the world of insects and spiders can replace children's fear with fascination.
By Linda Dow.
Eastern black swallowtail butterfly: Third larval instage
Eastern black swallowtail butterfly: Third larval instage
Fourteen days out of the egg, the larva leaves its food source in search of a place to pupate (become a chrysalis).
Format: image/photograph
Eastern black swallowtail butterfly: Third larval instage
Eastern black swallowtail butterfly: Third larval instage
Here, the larva's maturing structure is visible. The larva is now 10 days out of the egg.
Format: image/photograph