Honolulu Zoo Society : Animals A-Z

Animals - Invertebrates (Gr 2 - 3)

Topic Overview

Most people know something about mammals. Many mammals live in close proximity to people. Real, or stuffed and snuggly, they are our pets. Invertebrates are made up of the creepy crawlies of the world. They live in holes and crevices, and in the ocean. But invertebrates are also incredibly important to maintaining Earth's balance. They include beautiful butterflies, amazing marine creatures, thousands of diverse insects. Students will study invertebrates to discover how they fit into the food web, how their adaptations allow them to survive, and the range of creatures that are invertebrates.

Begin the Lesson

Whole Class Introduction to the Lesson

You will need at least one computer with Internet connectivity and a projection device, a classroom with more than one computer, or access to a computer lab.  This introduction will take approximately 10 minutes to complete.

As part of the introduction, you may want to review some of the glossary terms in advance of students going online. At this point you can launch the WebLesson as whole-class activity using a projection device, or you can assign students to work individually or in teams in a computer lab.

Activity 1: Discuss the difference between vertebrates and invertebrates. Use the BBC website,  http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/animals/, to discuss whether groups of animals are vertebrates or invertebrates. Click on thumbnails for a larger view.


Activity 2:
Watch the StudyJams slideshow and discuss the diversity and characteristics of marine invertebrates. http://studyjams.scholastic.com/studyjams/jams/science/animals/invertebrates.htm

 

 

WebLesson Sites
Introduction
For a long time, creepy crawlies and marine invertebrates have been second fiddle to the beautiful and furry creatures of the world. Do you know anyone who snuggles with a stuffed worm or octopus? Invertebrates may lack charm and good-looks, but they are often amazingly strong, clever, and resilient. And they are vitally important.

note to writer - touch on herbivore/carnivore/omnivore and locomotion...just somewhere in the directions or if on a Web site with invertebrate info then great
Scenario
We think of Valentine's Day as a day to tell or to show people we care about them. Perhaps you have written a Valentine to a family member, or your pet, or maybe even a favorite stuffed animal. There is never a Valentine's Day for the creepy crawlies of the world. Today, we are going to change that.
Lesson Pages
Conclusion & Project
Conclusion
Invertebrates all have no backbone. But, invertebrates are diverse. Some live on land. Some live in water. Some invertebrates are decomposers. Many are consumers. Some eat animals. Some eat plants. Invertebrates use a range of adaptations to survive, including migration and camouflage. Many invertebrates are beautiful. Still others are creepy crawlies that send people screaming. Invertebrates are a diverse and important part of life on Earth.
Project
It is time to appreciate the invertebrates of the world! Happily, you do not have to snuggle with a slug or kiss a cuttlefish. Instead, select five invertebrates and write a Valentine to each. Select some land creatures and some water creatures. Each lovely note should tell that creature what you appreciate about it and why it is important to the world or to you. You do not have to pick creatures you learned about in this WebLesson. Think about other invertebrates you have seen.
Glossary
adaptation - a change by which an individual becomes better suited to its current environment
armour - metal covering
bioluminescence - light given off by living organisms
chrysallis - a protective case which contains a caterpillar as it is turning into a butterfly or moth.
elusive - hard to find
evolution - the slow development of something
filament - a slender thread
fragile - easily broken
inconspicuous - not easy to see or notice
instantaneous - immediate
invertebrate - animal that has no backbone
kinship - relative
metamorphosis - a change from an infant stage to an adult in one or two steps
migrate - move from one place to another
mucous - a thick, gel-like substance secreted by a living organism
mutilate - injure horribly
nectar - the sugary fluid in flowers
negotiate - to find a solution
nutrients - a substance that provide nourishment; healthy food
oppressive - difficult
plough - turn up the earth; farm equipment that turns up the earth
polyp - a small sea animal (such as a coral) that has a body shaped like a tube
progeny - an offspring, child
sedate - calm
solitary - alone
spawn - release eggs
stalk - main stem
tentacles - a flexible appendage or limb
viscous - thick and sometimes sticky fluid