Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Lesson Plans


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    Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Lesson Plans

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    Bugs Don't Bug Me (Full Manual)

    Teach all Bugs Don't Bug Me lessons. Experiences include learning about water quality, aquatic insects, invasive species, and adaptations through hands-on activities.  Find additional printed resources, photos and a video below.

    Bugs Don't Bug Me (Individual Lesson Plans) 

    For Grades K-6

    Build-a-Bug mix and match

    Designed to help introduce students to aquatic macroinvertebrates and the adaptations that allow them to live in an aquatic environment. 
    15 - 20 min.

    Macroinvertebrate Mix and Match 

    This activity will introduce students to aquatic macroinvertebrates (primarily insects) and the major segments (the head, thorax, and abdomen) and differentiation between larval, nymph, and adult stages.
    30 min

    Macroinvertebrate Simon Says 

    Introduces students to the adaptations of macroinvertebrates and their feeding habits.
    30 min.

    Macroinvertebrate Investigation explore

    Through collection and observation, students learn about macroinvertebrates. 
    30 min.

    Macroinvertebrate Graphing Activity 

    Teaches students to describe and identify the quality of a stream site by analyzing the aquatic macroinvertebrates that live there. 
    30-45 min.

    If Bugs Could Talk 

    Introduces students to the link between aquatic macroinvertebrates, land use activities and water pollution. 
    30 min. 

    Water Pollution Graphing 

    Teaches students the link between land use activities and water quality.
    45 min. 

    Stream Side Science (Individual Lesson Plans)

    For Grades 5-12

    Who Lives in the Water

    Students will investigate the diversity in a specific water body through observation and charting. They will collect and observe macroinvertebrates in an aquatic system. 6.4.1 SEEd Connections available.

    Missing Macroinvertebrates

    Students make inferences about the quality of freshwater using macroinvertebrate data collected from local water systems and explain the factors that contribute to the presence or absence of a species.

    Wetland vs. Stream Macroinvertebrates

    To investigate various biomes through observation and comparison of the diversity of life, in particular, the specific number of species, biomass, and type of organisms.

    Aquatic Invasion!

    Teaches the properties of invasive species and their effect on aquatic ecosystems.
    60 min.


    Pictures and Additional Printed Resources

    The following printed resources are offered in pdf format (may take awhile to download):



    For more information regarding macroinvertebrates, including data sheets and collection instructions, please refer to the Stream Side Science and Utah Stream Team manuals. Also see the USU Extension Aquatic Macroinvertebrate webpage.