A 60 minute lesson in which students will identify that small animals have different external features.
Arrange the students into small groups. Provide each group with one of the Minibeasts Cut-out Decorations. Encourage the students to think carefully about the shape of the animal’s body, its different external features and how the animal moves.
Ask the students to role-play the small animal. Afterwards, gather the class together. Ask guiding questions, such as:
What body parts does your animal have?
How many legs does your animal have?
How did you use your body to role-play your animal?
Display the Question Starter Flashcards. Explain to the students that an important part of being a ‘biologist’ (a scientist that studies living things) is asking interesting questions about plants and animals and how they survive.
Write the following question on the board: Why do snails have shells? Ask the students to ‘Think, Pair, Share’ their responses to this question. Once the students have shared their ideas, explain that snails have shells to protect themselves from predators (such as birds) and to prevent themselves from drying out.
As a class, write a list of questions about the external features of small animals. Some examples could include:
Why do butterflies have wings?
Why do worms have long, smooth bodies?
How do ants smell?
Using the mini-beasts from the tuning in activity for ideas, make a class list of external features that small animals have e.g. antennae, legs, wings. During the discussion, encourage the students to suggest what each external feature might be used for.
As a class, play a game of Celebrity Bug Head. Choose one student to wear the bug headband, then attach one of the bug pictures to the headband. Model how to ask ‘yes’ and ‘no’ questions about a small animal in the context of the game e.g. Does my bug have wings? Repeat the game several times, allowing different students to wear the bug headband.
As a class, revise the different external features of small animals. Draw out from the discussion that small animals have different external features for particular purposes, such as moving and feeding.
Encourage more capable students to use a range of information books to research the external features of small animals.
Gently encourage less confident students to participate in and contribute to class discussions.
Suggested Assessment Strategies
used strategic whole class or individual questioning
observed student participation during learning activities