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Welcome to Teaming with Insects

Studying nature inspires creativity by demanding that youth see what is around them and requires them to use all of their senses. Because science is interconnected, many of the activities show interrelationships among insects, plants, and the environment. The curriculum, Teaming with Insects, increases youth science literacy using insects and their relatives. Each manual has age-appropriate activities in the following categories (chapters): Be and Entomologist; Biodiversity; Invasive Species; Integrated Pest Management; and Forensic Entomology.

Why study insects?

Insects are the perfect vehicle to capture the attention of youth who may be taken aback by insects or utterly fascinated by them. Insects are ubiquitous and can be observed and collected in nearly every habitat in nearly every part of the world. As a group, their tremendous success can be attributed, in part, to their diversity of form and ability to adapt to a wide-range of environments.

Nearly three-fourths of all animals are insects or their relatives. Because of their sheer numbers (nearly one million species) insects impact our lives daily. They compete with us for food, they can carry diseases, and they impact our renewable resources affecting our economy. But insects are major benefactors too, controlling other insect pests, pollinating a wide variety of crops, and recycling organic matter. Insects have been reviled in movies and extolled in art, music, and literature.

Insects are ideal organisms for study by urban and rural youth without regard to socio-economic background. They are free or can be obtained at minimal cost from pet stores or scientific supply houses. Because of their small size, insects can be easily reared in various containers and observed for all basic life processes.

Entomology Level 1

Level 1

Level 1 introduces the world of insects. Activities focus on how they look and move and provide some background for studying important entomology topics.

Grades 3-5

Entomology Level 2

Level 2

Level 2 shows you how to make insect collection tools and expands on the basic concepts of biodiversity, invasive species, integrated pest management, and forensic entomology.

Grades 6-8

Entomology Level 3

Level 3

Level 3 delves even deeper into the basic concepts and encourages youth to take control of their learning by doing your own research using the scientific method and reference materials.

Grades 9-12


Entomology Facilitators Guide
The Facilitator’s Guide provides helpful information on exploring insect study, the contribution of insects to biodiversity, how to manage pests, invasive species, and forensic entomology.

Learn more