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New: Teaching material about insects for grades 7 to 10: Action booklet "insect kingdom" now available

August 17th, 2022
New: Teaching material about insects for grades 7 to 10: Action booklet "insect kingdom" now available

Copyright: B. Theuerkauf

Insects are the most diverse group in the animal kingdom. Nevertheless, they have received little attention in school lessons to date. With an activity booklet for students in grades 7 to 10, the team from the "Blütenbunt-Insektenreich" project wants to change that. The 80 page booklet invites classes and project groups to explore nature around their school. In a variety of practical and theoretical tasks about flower visitors such as bees, butterflies and co., the boys and girls find out why insects are so exciting and worth protecting and why more and more species are disappearing from our lives.

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Copyright: B. Theuerkauf
"When designing the booklet, we attached great importance to appealing, detailed illustrations," says project manager Dr. Katrin Schöps from the Kiel Student Research Center, the school laboratory run jointly with Kiel University by the IPN. These invite students to browse, read and discover. "But practical work also plays a major role in 'Expedition Insect Kingdom'. It's not just about dealing with insects theoretically, but becoming insect researchers yourself with a net and catching glass or in small experiments."

Since the booklet is intended to introduce as many students as possible to the world of insects, the complexity of the tasks varies widely. Teachers can incorporate it into lessons in both community colleges and high schools. Although the focus is on grades 7 to 10, individual tasks and exercises can also be used at the orientation level or even in the upper grades. The notes to the individual chapters provide corresponding information.

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Copyright: B. Theuerkauf
The "Expedition Insect Kingdom" activity booklet is divided into different parts. Inside the cover, students will find information on insect identification and systematics as well as a checklist that they can use to document their discoveries. The task pages are divided into basic and additional modules. In the basic modules, the students get to know insects better through numerous practical tasks. The focus is on wild bees, butterflies and grasshoppers. In addition, the classes deal with the habitat meadow. For example, the boys and girls learn how to systematically estimate the number of insects in an area. The supplementary modules cover more complex topics such as parasitism and bridge the gap from middle to high school. The heart of the booklet is the insect library: 16 pages that provide a good overall overview of insects as well as background information on the individual tasks.

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Copyright: B. Theuerkauf
On the website of the "Blütenbunt-Insektenreich" project, anyone interested can now download the booklet free of charge. Schools also have the option of ordering complete class sets. Only the postage fee is charged to those who place the order. Additional exercises and tasks for upper grades, which are based on the chapters in the campaign booklet, are continuously being developed and will also be made available on the website www.insektenreich-sh.de.

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Copyright: B. Theuerkauf

The project "Blütenbunt-Insektenreich" (Blossom-colored insect kingdom):

The collaborative project "Blütenbunt-Insektenreich" aims to implement a variety of conservation measures to protect and promote insect diversity in both urban and rural areas. The project partners also want to initiate and implement educational initiatives at schools, universities and in the private sector.

From 2020 to 2026, the project is funded by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation under the Federal Program on Biological Diversity with funds from the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. Additional funding is provided by the Ministry for Energy Transition, Agriculture, Environment, Nature and Digitalization in Schleswig-Holstein (MELUND) and the districts of Nordfriesland, Dithmarschen and Rendsburg-Eckernförde.