What Does It Eat?

 Author:  Elena Ortiz-Barney

DisciplineLife Sciences 

 Grade Level: 5–8

 Created in 2001

 Duration: 2 Weeks

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This is a lesson on animal food choice. With this activity students will build their skills at scientific inquiry while studying the feeding behavior of crickets or other insects. This activity can be done with easily available arthropods such as crickets, mealworms or pillbugs. They also explore the effects of experimental design on the results of the experiment.


1. Student will be able to design and carry out an investigation, and finally compare and analyze the results of their investigation about the diet preference of an arthropod.

2. Student will be able to defend their written investigation plan and provide feedback on other investigations.

3. Student will use appropriate graphs and mathematical analyses to analyze their data.

4. Student will recognize that different methods can yield different results.

Keywords : Feeding Behavior, Diet Preference, Anthropods, Feeding Habits.


National Science Standards:

Content Standards (Grades 5-8):

  • A.Science as Inquiry. As a result of activities in grades 5-8, all students should develop
    Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
    Understandings about scientific inquiry
  • G. History and Nature of Science. As a result of activities in grades 5-8, all students should develop understanding of
    Science as a human endeavor
    Nature of science

Arizona Department of Education

State Academic Standards (Grade 8):

Strand 1: Inquiry process

  • Concept 1: Observation, Questions and Hypothesis                                                                                Formulate predictions, questions, or hypotheses based in observations. Locate appropriate resources
  • Concept 2: Scientific testing (investigating and modeling)                                                                              Design and conduct controlled investigations 
  • Concept 3: Analysis and Conclusions                                                                                                            Analyze and interpret data to explain correlations and results; formulate new questions.                  
  • Concept 4: Communication                                                                                                              Communicate results of investigations 



Lesson Plan (pdf / doc)
Background (pdf / doc)
Rubric (pdf / doc)
Student Worksheet (pdf / doc) 

 References and Related Links:

 Imes, Rick, 1992. The Practical Entomologist. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster Inc.

 Delta Education, Inc. SCIIS/85 Teacher’s Guide. Nashua, NH: Rand McNally & Co.