Grade Range
3rd
Group Size
2 students
Active Time
30 minutes
Total Time
30 minutes
Area of Science
Zoology
Key Concepts
Adaptation, surface tension
Learning Objectives
  • Demonstrate how water striders can survive better than other insects on the surface of water

Overview

How do water striders skip across the surface of the water? What advantage does this give them over other insects that helps them survive in their environment? Your students will find out in this lesson as they build their own insects from pieces of wire, and see which ones sink and which ones float.

NGSS Alignment

This lesson helps students prepare for these Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectations:
  • 3-LS4-3. Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
This lesson focuses on these aspects of NGSS Three Dimensional Learning:

Science & Engineering Practices Disciplinary Core Ideas Crosscutting Concepts
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions. Use evidence (e.g. observations, patterns) to construct an explanation.
LS4.C: Adaptaion. For any particular environment, some kinds of organisms survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
Patterns. Patterns can be used as evidence to support an explanation.

Credits

Ben Finio, PhD, Science Buddies

Materials


Materials required for the water strider lesson.

Each group of students will need:

  • Shallow plate or tray with water
  • About 2 feet of 30 AWG magnet wire, available from Amazon.com
  • Scissors
  • Optional: double-sided foam tape and small googly eyes for decorating
  • Optional: blue food coloring (makes the water easier to see)

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Grade Range
3rd
Group Size
2 students
Active Time
30 minutes
Total Time
30 minutes
Area of Science
Zoology
Key Concepts
Adaptation, surface tension
Learning Objectives
  • Demonstrate how water striders can survive better than other insects on the surface of water