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Classify Insects: A Science Explorations Activity

Introduce students to observation, classification, and inference skills while also teaching them how to find and predict patterns.


3–5, 6–8, 9–12

Activity Type

  • Computer Lab Activities

In “Classify Insects,” students first meet Randall “Toby” Schuh, an entomologist from the American Museum of Natural History, who offers his Scientist Top Tips for exploring the world of entomology. Through various online learning activities, students are introduced to skills including observation, finding and predicting patterns, classification, and inference.

  • Students become junior investigators at the American Museum of Natural History in Classify This! (grades 6–10), and must classify the animals they encounter.
  • Once students have examined a bug, they can play Scholastic’s Name-a-Bug Challenge (grades 6–10), and view past winners.
  • With Investigate (grades 6–10), students first complete a scientific investigation, then put together a research presentation and write a science report with help from an expert.
  • A helpful list of Words to Know familiarizes students with common entomology terms.


Learning Objectives

While participating in Classify Insects, students will:

  • Learn grade-appropriate facts about the topic
  • Build scientific thinking skills as they follow a guided path of inquiry and analysis
  • Learn how professional scientists and experts conduct investigations and present findings
  • Practice reading strategies and skills needed to decode and comprehend nonfiction and informational texts
  • Develop skills for writing about research-based topics
  • Strengthen research and critical reasoning skills as they gather, assess, and use data

Susan Cheyney

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