Wings and Exoskeletons

Wings and Exoskeletons lesson plan

Bugs are flyers and crawlers, diggers and wigglers! Discover the biology of arthropods and then show insects at their beautiful best in their natural habitats.

  • 1.

    Did you know that there are more species of insects than any other animal class in the world? There is so much to learn about these fascinating arthropods, both inside and outside of their bodies. You’ll find that arthropods have hard exteriors called exoskeletons that cover them and that they are the largest group of invertebrates.

  • 2.

    Bring out the magnifying glasses and specimens for this science adventure! After an intense investigation of insect and arachnid habitats, anatomy, and nature’s intense coloring, you are ready to demonstrate your knowledge about these tiny flying and crawling creatures.

  • 3.

    For the background, use the Crayola® Color Switchers™ Markers to draw realistic insect habitats such as tree branches and leaves, flowers, logs, or rocks.

  • 4.

    Flip the Marker and apply the special color switcher to draw insects directly on top of your background. Notice how the colors seem to leap off the page. Enlarge your arthropods as if you were seeing them through a magnifying glass. Remember to keep them anatomically accurate.


  • Students research arthropods and find that there are more than a million known species of insects with many more waiting to be discovered.
  • Students recognize the difference between vertebrates and invertebrates, and compare and contrast two forms of arthropods, insects and arachnids.
  • Students show their knowledge of arthropods by creating an anatomically accurate drawing of insects or other arthropods in their natural habitats.


  • Students compare and contrast other groups of invertebrates such as worms, mollusks, and sponges. Then draw them in their natural habitats.
  • Children create their own undiscovered insect. It should have the correct anatomy of an insect but it can have its own unique look.
  • Students with special needs could complete just a single insect on a leaf or background with assistance from detailed drawings. Provide a variety of specimens and pictures. If possible, visit an insect museum and ask students to sketch insects that intrigue them.
  • Teachers could use this project to evaluate student knowledge upon completion of a unit on insects.