Lesson Plans

Insect or Spider: How Do You Tell?

Learn the key differences.

  • Grades: 3–5, 6–8

Here's what to look at.


Insects: 6
Spiders: 8

Insects: a wide variety — some even eat plastic, paper, and lint
Spiders: mostly insects, but some even eat small frogs or mice

Antennae (an-TEH-nee)
Insects: yes — that's how they smell
Spiders: no — they sense through bristles on their legs

Insects: usually
Spiders: never

Body Sections
Insects: 3: head, thorax, abdomen
Spiders: 2: cephalothorax (seh-fuh-luh-THOR-ax), abdomen


Information adapted from Science World.

  • Subjects:
    Insects, Animal Structure and Movement, Spiders