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Buggy Diner K-2nd | Lesson 2, Series #5

Buggy Diner

Vocabulary: Good Insects(bugs), Pests, Experiments

Grade Levels: K - 2nd

Click here for #5 Series Description

Science Framework

Spanish Lesson Plan

Lesson Bridge:

Connect this lesson (2) with ‘Space Travelers’ (1) by explaining that while some bugs are microscopic and help to make soil healthy for plants to grow, other bugs are big enough to see with our naked eye and are sometimes considered pests because they eat our gardens.

Lesson Overview:  

In this lesson, students will set up a simple test to demonstrate the feeding preferences of some common garden insects.  They will use the data they collect to classify insects as beneficial or as pests and relate how we can use this information to help grow a healthier garden.

Learning Objectives by Grade:

Essential Question(s) that Connect CCCs and SEPs:


Good Insects(bugs)- Insects that help our gardens!

Pests- Insects that harm our gardens

Experiments- A test made to answer a question we have. Ex: Is this a beneficial insect or pest?



Optional: to prepare the experiment 24 hours beforehand so students can observe what leaves the bugs you collected have eaten. Then, prepare one cup/jar with the class so they have something to take to the classroom and observe for the next day.

Activity Procedure:


Begin with a classroom discussion in the seating area in your garden:

How do you help other people? Share ideas. How do other people help you? Share again. In the garden, plants and animals can help each other, too. Of course, we know that some insects harm our crops by eating them. But did you know that many other insects can help our garden grow?


Have students go into the garden and look for evidence of bug activity then have everyone return to the seating area to share. What evidence did you find?

Ps. Bug activity is everywhere! Spider webs, snail trails, chomped leaves, movement under the soil. Encourage students to look closely. They can even pretend that they are small like a bug!


Think, Pair, Share: What makes a bug good for our garden?

Good bugs can help our garden in different ways. They can spread pollen from flower to flower like butterflies and bees. They can help the soil, like worms help the soil. And they can eat garden pests like ladybugs that eat aphids.

Thumbs up/down: Did you find bugs that you think are good for our garden while exploring?

What would happen if we found a bug in the garden and didn’t know whether it was a pest or good for the garden? How could we experiment(Who knows what an experiment is?)? Well, we could do an experiment where we put that bug in a container with some samples of the garden plants. If the bug ate the garden plants, we’d know it was a garden pest!


Run experiment with students:

  1. Review your Garden Agreements
  2. Go into the garden with students to find three different kinds of bugs.
  3. Place the three bugs into three separate mason jars/containers
  4. Students go into the garden and surrounding area to gather 3 different types of leaves (lettuce, kale leaf, oak leaf, and grass)
  5. Place one sample of each leaf into the three jars. Each jar should have a variety of all three leaves.
  6. Write on the board the types of leaf samples you have. Ask the class what bug they want to invite to the diner.
  7. Have the students fill out their worksheet with the experiment details
  8. You can have this extra fun by getting the kids to name their bugs.
  9. Label each jar
  10. Let the class take the bug back to their classroom for 24-48 hours to be observed throughout the day. Ask them to release the bug back into the garden after the time has passed.
  11. Tell students that when they return you will get to discuss what they observed about the insect and if one food was its favorite.
  12. At this point, the classroom teacher will take over leading the experiment and discussions.  Please provide the teacher with: Buggy Diner Student Lab Sheet-
  13. Safely release your bugs where you found them after you have completed the experiment.

Run experiment beforehand:

  1. Review your Garden Agreements
  2. Hand out the Buggy Diner Student Lab Sheet
  3. Write on the board the types of leaf samples you have in your jars along with the bugs. Have students copy along on their lab sheets.
  4. Either allow students to view your pre-made jars with bugs or pass them around the seating area.
  5. Prepare one buggy diner experiment as a class for them to take back with them and observe


Which leaves did the bugs choose to eat? None of the leaves? Some of the leaves? All of the leaves?

What does the bug’s eating preference tell us about whether or not the bug is a beneficial insect or pest?

If your bug ate some leaves but not others, what does that tell you about the habitat in which that bug prefers to live in?

Extension Activities:

Gardens Change Lives!                                                          Page  of