Literature Connection:

One Day in the Prairie by Jean Craighead George

Mathematical Strand:



Multiage learning teams will collect "prairie insects" for data collection and analysis

Grade Level:


Lesson Created by:

Diane DeNoon and Diane Richards, Theodore Roosevelt Elementary, Manhattan, KS

Lesson Description:


  • Book: One Day In The Prairie by Jean Speare
  • Student designed data collection procedures for Konza Prairie
  • Fieldtrip
  • Insect field guides/groups
  • AIMS materials on insects

1. Launching the lesson:

  1. Using the Foss "Environment" literature books, students read about the darkling beetle. This is done after students complete a KWL chart.
  2. Upon completing the insect "preference" experiment in FOSS students take a walking fieldtrip to the KSU INSECT ZOO and rainforest gardens.
  3. Read aloud Speares book ONE DAY IN THE PRAIRIE. Discuss the specific plants, animals, and insects identified in the book with the prairie as their habitat.
  4. Prior to the Konza fieldtrip, learning teams will develop a procedure for collecting their "prairie insect" data while on the tour.
  5. Students will collect the kinds of insects observed as the number found of each kind while on the prairie walk. Each child will be asked to collect one insect, which will later become an independent research project for the "Habitat" box.

2. Developing the lesson:

  1. Students will share with the class the kinds and numbers of insects found on the fieldtrip. A class data collection will be established.
  2. Using Microsoft Excel, students will individually graph class Insect data in several forms-pie graphs, line graph, bar graph. A comparison will show the child's individual team insect data as well.

3. Closure/Elaboration

  1. Each child will research the insect found according to the Habitat requirements.
  2. If time permits, students could make a paper mache insect to go into habitat box. The graphed data will be on display with the box.
  3. Students will complete the learned section of the KWL chart.

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Copyright 2001 S.Ma.R.T.Books and Kansas State University