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  1. The Wonderful Praying Mantis
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- Mantid eggsacks

- Live praying mantids preferred, but a model or video will substitute

- A short article on insects

- A second insect, such as a cockroach or beetle (optional)

- Video clip from United Streaming (or similar) on praying mantids

- Worksheet and pencil


  • To understand the characteristics of insects.

Resource Instructions

- Eggsacks to be introduced several weeks before lesson.    These should hatch in a few weeks of warm weather.   Release babies as a class activity and save about 20 to raise in the classroom.   There are up to 200 babies in an egg sack.

- Show video clip to the students (5 minutes)

- Pass out the insect article and popcorn read or read silently (5 minutes)

- Brainstorm characteristics of praying insects – whole class  (5 minutes)

- Using worksheet 1, label the parts of the praying mantid in small groups. (5 minutes)

- Observe student progress and provide feedback if needed

- Peer review (5 minutes)

- Label the cockroach with at least six characteristics, two of which should be different from those used on the praying mantid.   Students will draw their own arrows (10 minutes)

- Peer review (5 minutes)

- Complete worksheet 2 independently (15 minutes)

- Turn in completed worksheets.


Extra-class work: 

A blank copy of worksheet 2 will be passed out as homework.   The student will chose another insect and complete the worksheet.

 Ideas for future lessons:

- Create a haiku poem about insects

- Write a multiparagraph essay about the three body parts (introduction, head, thorax, abdomen, conclusion)

- Make paper mache insects (real or imagined)

- Compare and contrast two insects using a Venn Diagram or double bubble map

- Compare and contrast insects and humans

Internet resources for students:

The Wonderful World of Insects – []

Sci4Kids - []

Amazing Insects-

Insect Inspecta World - []

Bug Bios - []

Alien Empire - []

Cool Bug Stuff -


- Review completed worksheet and/or homework (extra-class work).

- Create a free verse poem about 8 characteristics of insects.

- Short quiz.

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  • Attachments:

    1. DOCPraying Mantis LP.doc (download)

Posted by: S.Birnbaum

Another insect resource is on at