Now that the weather is getting a bit warmer, some creepy crawlies will be emerging from their period of winter inactivity. Teachers and students may like to engage in a schoolyard safari to collect, identify, and display some of our amazing Australian insects.
On Queensland Museum’s Wild Backyards site you can find out how to trap insects using pitfall traps, malaise traps, and beating and netting. Instructional videos show you how to Plan a Study, Collect Insects, Identify Insects using a CSIRO Invertebrate Key, Display Insects, and Summarise Data using spreadsheets. The Backyard Explorer Leader’s Guide and User’s Guide that are on the Wild Backyards site are suitable to use with mid-primary to senior Biology groups. EEIs (Extended Experimental Investigations) and ERTs (Extended Response Tasks) can be designed around biodiversity assessments. A study of changes to flora and fauna over time and space is one way of exploring changes to biodiversity.
The Displaying Insects video has recently been added to QM’s suite of instructional videos. In this video Noel Starick, who was an entomologist at CSIRO for many years, shows some of the techniques and ‘tricks of the trade’ to help budding insect-lovers produce an eye-catching insect display.
Insect trays can be kept from year to year and used to teach classification (Yr 7 of the Australian Science Curriculum) and adaptations (Yr 5), as well as classification at a senior Biology level.
An insect tray with specimens classified down to Order level, is included in the new QM Loans kit, Micro Marvels. This kit will be available for borrowing from 2012.
Booklets that assist with teaching these themes were uploaded on a previous blog; see the one on New Primary Science Loans kits trialled in the Classroom.