1 class periods of 15 minutes each
By watching a presentation where one of their classmates is dressed up in a bug costume, students learn what adaptations macroinvertebrates have in order to live in an aquatic environment.
Items contained in the "Items Representing Adaptations for Build A Bug" column in Appendix C (pdf). Use your imagination! Bright colors and silly items work well.
To introduce students to aquatic macroinvertebrates and their unique adaptations.
The small animals that live in water are called aquatic macroinvertebrates. These macroinvertebrates include many types of insects as well as other animals such as worms, mollusks, and crustaceans.
Most aquatic macroinvertebrates make their home in rocks, leaves, and the sediment of streambeds. These organisms have many special adaptations that allow them to live in demanding environments. Macroinvertebrates that live in riffles and fast-moving water may have features that help them hold on to rocky or hard substrates such as hooked feet or suction cups; or flat, streamlined bodies that can handle high water velocity. Macroinvertebrates that house themselves deep in muddy substrates may have different sets of adaptations for low oxygen environments, such as air tubes or oxygen trapping red hemoglobin in their tissue. See the "Adaptations" column in Appendix C (pdf) for more examples.
OPTIONAL ART ACTIVITY:
You can enhance this lesson with the following art activity (use the materials listed in the table in Appendix C).
This lesson can be followed with Macroinvertebrate Simon Says to teach about specific feeding adaptations. You can also follow this lesson with Macroinvertebrate Mix and Match to teach the three parts of a bug.
This lesson plan was developed by the Utah State University Water Quality Extension.