- The Insects Kit Contains
- Kit Inventory List
- Materials Supplied By The Teacher
- Preparing The Kit For Your Classroom
- Replacement Parts
1 Teacher Guide
1 Teacher Preparation Video
• Equipment for 32 students
• FOSS Science Stories Insects (1 big book and student books)
A new kit contains enough consumable items for at least two classroom uses before you need to resupply.
FOSS modules use central materials distribution. You organize all the materials for an investigation on a single table called the materials station. As the investigation progresses, one member of each group gets materials as they are needed, and another returns the materials when the investigation is completed. You place items at the station— students do the rest.
1. Sort and inventory all items and secure them in plastic bags.
2. Remove labels and save all vial caps.
3. Use the bottle brush and hot water to clean the vials and other containers. Be sure they are completely dry before storing them in the kit.
4. Check that the bags of sand and soil are tightly sealed, so they won’t spill.
5. Store the glycerin and the seeds (cricket food and sunflower seeds) in the jars and screw the lids on tightly.
6. Make sure posters are stored flat on the bottom of the box.
Each part of each investigation has a Materials section that describes the materials required for that part. It lists materials needed for each collaborative group and for the class.
MATERIALS SUPPLIED BY THE TEACHER
Be aware that you must supply a few items. These are indicated in the materials list for each part of the investigation with an asterisk (*). Here is a summary list of those items.
Some preparation is required each time you use the kit. Doing these things before beginning the module will make daily setup quicker and easier.
1. PLAN AHEAD FOR GETTING INSECTS
Some of the insects used in the module can be obtained from local sources. We encourage you to do this, as it will be more economical and ensure healthier insects.
Delta Education sells coupons for six of the insects used in this module. Coupons for the six different insects are available separately, so you can perhaps get some insects locally and purchase coupons for some others. A coupon provides a sufficient number of insects for one class using the Insects Module. Because each coupon is redeemed separately, you receive the insects on the schedule that you plan. It is important that you plan ahead. Allow 4 weeks to receive your insects once you send in the coupon.
Mealworms, larvae of the Tenebrio beetle, can be purchased from local bait shops and pet stores. Purchase 200 large golden mealworms. If you can’t find these locally, a reliable source is Rainbow Mealworms, Inc., PO Box 4907, Compton, CA 90220, 1-800-777-9676, fax 1-310-635-1004. Order the extra-large golden mealworms (they will pupate quickly).
NOTE: Don’t order “giant” or “king” mealworms. These extra large mealworms are interesting but require a very long time to complete a life cycle.
Waxworms can be purchased at local bait shops. Purchase 75–100 greater wax moth larvae. Our experience is, however, that more robust waxworms can be obtained from a biological supply company. These come in a jar with a supply of their food medium. Request mature waxworms, which will be large and easy for students to observe. The chances of seeing them pupate and emerge as adults will be greater if you start with older larvae.
Milkweed bugs must be purchased from a biological supply company. Purchase a culture of about 50 eggs. The milkweed bugs used in this module were specifically bred for classroom use, and they eat sunflower seeds, not milkweed seeds. Be sure to start from eggs.
Silkworms can be purchased at a number of biological supply houses. Order 50 eggs. You may know a colleague who collected eggs last year and has some to share. You can save the eggs that the moths produce for next year’s class by storing the eggs in the refrigerator.
Painted lady butterflies can be purchased at a number of biological supply houses. Purchase 5–10 larvae. The larvae arrive in a small cup with a supply of food medium that looks a lot like guacamole. The larvae can stay right in the little cup until they pupate.
House crickets come in small, medium, and large sizes. They are available from bait shops and pet stores as well as from biological supply companies. Purchase 10–20 crickets. If you want them to chirp and mate quickly, obtain large crickets.
Other insects, including ants and aquatic insects such as damselflies, dragonflies, diving beetles, water striders, and giant water bugs, can be purchased from biological supply companies or collected locally. The best way to observe ants is in a commercially available ant farm. Ant farms come with a coupon for a supply of ants. The aquatic insects will be maintained in small aquariums, so only one or two examples are required if you choose to use them.
2. PLAN FOR INSECT FOOD
Each kind of insect will need a different kind of food. The Getting Ready section in each investigation will provide all of the details. Plan ahead to make sure you have the appropriate food.
• Mealworms and adult beetles eat wheat bran and need a source of moisture (carrot, apple, potato).
• Waxworm larvae eat a homemade medium made from baby cereal (oat), sugar, hot water, and glycerine. Glycerine is provided in the kit.
• Milkweed bugs (at all stages) eat raw, shelled sunflower seeds provided in kit.
• Silkworm larvae eat fresh mulberry leaves only.
• Painted lady butterfly larvae eat a medium shipped with larvae or fresh mallow and hollyhock leaves.
• Painted lady butterfly adults eat sugar water.
• Crickets (in all stages) eat seeds (provided in kit), bits of dry dog food, and small pieces of fruit, such as apple or orange.
• Ants eat sugar water and seeds.
3. CONSUMABLE MATERIALS
A number of items in the kit are listed as consumable (soil, sand, glycerin, seeds, zip bags, and rubber bands). All these materials can be purchased from local sources, but replacement packages for this module are available from Delta Education. The kit comes supplied for two class uses.
4. PROVIDE A LAMP FOR WARMTH
Insects’ life cycles are greatly influenced by temperature as described in the background of each investigation. If your classroom is cold, provide an incandescent lamp with a 60–75-watt lamp to provide warmth, particularly for the classroom culture of waxworms and for the crickets. Crickets must have a lamp for warmth in order to thrive.
5. PLAN FOR DISPOSING OF INSECTS
If you are successful, you will end up with lots of healthy insect cultures. It is not recommended that you release any of the insects that you culture. They would probably not survive, yet any organism not native to your local environment might upset the local ecological balance. Organisms can be terminated by putting them in a freezer for a day. Insects that you collect from local areas should be returned to their natural habitats.
6. OBTAIN AN ANT FARM
Investigation 6 suggests that you bring an ant farm to class. Traditional ant farms are available from large toy stores and biological supply houses. An appropriate ant farm is available from Delta Education. Call 1-800-258-1302.
7. PREPARE INSECT JOURNALS
There are a number of recording techniques used throughout this module. In Investigations 1 and 4, students record in a journal or booklet (Life of a Mealworm, Life of a Silkworm). Make the student journals ahead of time.
8. STUDENT SHEETS
You will need to make copies of student sheets before each investigation. If you use an overhead projector, you may want to make transparencies of a few sheets to help students get oriented to them.
9. INSECT POSTERS
The kit contains laminated life cycle posters for the insects studied in Investigations 1–5. There are additional paper copies of these posters in the duplication masters section, nos. 31–48. You can use these to replace the laminated posters if they are damaged or lost. You can also make copies of the stages posters, cut the organisms out, and place them on the insect time lines (see the Interdisciplinary Extensions in each investigation).
10. PREPARE WORD BANK AND CONTENT CHARTS
As the module progresses, add new vocabulary words to a word bank; add content learned and questions still to be answered to a content chart. Use a flip chart, or tape chart paper to the wall to display new words, concepts, and questions throughout the module. Suggestions for adding to these charts are in the Wrapping Up section in each part.
11. PREPARE LIFE-CYCLE CHARTS FOR EACH INSECT
The content chart (What We Learned) lists what the students have learned about each insect. These things involve structures, behaviors, and changes. The wrap-up discussion for the last part of each investigation involves making a separate chart on a large piece of paper—a life-cycle chart of the structures and behaviors of the insect at each stage of its life-cycle. The class completes one summary life-cycle chart for each insect. Prepare a summary chart for each of the insects the class will study in the module, but don’t write in the names of the stages on the chart initially. That should be done with the class.
INSECTS MODULE CONTENTS
2 Basins, clear plastic, 6-liter
1 Bottle brush
1 Butterfly cage frame, 4 dowels, 2 plastic trays
1 Butterfly cage net
1 Butterfly cage vial holder
4 Calendars, class, laminated
2 Caps (drilled) and washers
8 Cardboard pieces, 10 cm ✕ 30 cm (4” ✕ 12”)
1 Container, 4-liter, with handle, holes, and lid
100 Cotton balls
36 Cup lids, plastic, 250-ml (9-oz.)
50 Cups, plastic, 250-ml (9-oz.)
1 Dowel with pointed end
1 Forceps, plastic
2 btl Glycerine, 118 ml/bottle (4 oz.)
32 Hand lenses, plastic, 3-power
1 Hole punch
2 Jars, plastic, 2-liter, with lids
147 Labels, white, removable
1 Netting piece, 23 cm ✕ 150 cm (9” ✕ 60”)
70 Paper plates
24 Plastic bags, 15 cm ✕ 7.5 cm ✕ 38 cm (6” ✕ 3” ✕ 15”)
18 Posters, life cycle of insects, laminated
100 Rubber bands, #14
2 bag Sand, 1 kg/ bag (2 lb.)
1 Screen, 1/8” mesh, 15 cm (6”) square
1 vial Seeds, cricket food
1 bag Seeds, sunflower, shelled, 200 g/bag
1 bag Soil, potting, 2 kg/bag (4 lb.)
1 Syringe, 30-ml
10 Tubing pieces, 12.5 cm
72 Vials, 12-dram, with caps
4 Window screen pieces
40 Zip bags, 4-liter