Minibeasts - Minibeast Activity Booklet by nyut545e2

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									Environment & Heritage Service

Minibeast Activity Booklet
Resources for KS 1 & KS2
Facts about minibeasts!

l	A minibeast is a small animal or ‘creepy crawly’.

l   Minibeasts do not have a back bone (invertebrates).

l	Minibeasts do not have a skeleton inside.

l	Some minibeasts have a hard shell to live in.

l	Minibeasts need shelter, water, food and air to survive.

l	Some minibeasts are carnivores (eat meat) and some

    are herbivores (eat plants).

l	There are lots of different types of minibeasts e.g.

    insects, arachnids, molluscs etc.

l	Minibeasts can be found on land and in water!
Minibeast Key
Most minibeasts that you might find can be easily identified using a key. You simply answer the
questions until your minibeast is identified.
Complete the key below by drawing the four minibeasts in the correct place.

                                      Does it have a shell?
                                     YES                     NO

                                                                           Does it have rings
                                                                        (segments) on its body?

                                                                          YES               NO

                       Is it long and thin?
                 YES                           NO
Differences in minibeasts !
Not all minibeasts are the same, if you look closely you can see lots of differences
between them. Spiders, snails and butterflies are minibeasts which are easy to find
in the garden or school grounds.

Look carefully at the pictures below.

Now complete the table below:

                    How many            Does it have          How many parts What else does
                    legs?               antennae?             to the body?   it have?




The snail has_______legs. It has a pair of_______________and_______parts to the body.

The spider has_______legs, no_________________and________parts to the body.

The butterfly has _______legs, ________________and ________parts to the body.
My Minibeast !

How many parts have I got?   How many legs have I got?

Draw me !

                                  Where do I live?       What do I like?
Minibeast Identification Sheet

          Slug                                Snail                            Earthworm

      Pill Millipede                     Snake Millipede                        Centipede

         Spider                              Earwig                            Woodlouse

           Fly                              Springtail                           Beetle

Look carefully at the pictures of the minibeasts and decide which are insects and which are not!
Put your answers in the table on the next page.
Differences in minibeasts
Minibeasts can be split into groups depending on their features, such as body parts, number of legs or if
they have wings or antennae.

Insects are arthropods. Most have

l    6 legs
l	   3 body parts – head, thorax and abdomen.
l	   2 antennae
l	   2 pairs of wings

                      INSECTS                                           NOT INSECTS

How did you decide which minibeasts were insects?




Where do Minibeasts live?
The place where a minibeast lives is known as their habitat. In their habitat, a minibeast must get food,
air, water and shelter to be able to survive.

Can you match the minibeast to its habitat?

                                                          Lots of Places, webs

                                                            Flowering plants

                                                  Underneath logs, damp places


                                         Damp places, under logs or piles of leaves

                                                       Deep down in damp soil
                           Where did I find my Minibeast?
       Complete the tables as you find each minibeast, recording where you found each minibeast.

                     In the air      On plants         On bark         In the soil    Under stones













Investigating Minibeasts habitats!
Many minibeasts like to come out at night and spend the day under stones, logs, leaves or other hiding
places so they are safe from predators. It is up to you to investigate whether some materials are more
popular than others to hide under by following the method below.

1.   Cut square pieces of materials such as cloth, hessian, clear polythene,
     cardboard, newspaper and black polythene.
2.   Fasten the pieces to the ground.
3.   Leave the squares for one week.
4.   Lift each one off the ground and record what you can see!

What do you think will happen?

Which materials do you think will be most popular?

What did you do to make the investigation fair?

What did you find after one week?

How would you change the investigation?
Minibeast Lifecycles (1)
Many minibeasts look different at each stage of their lifecycle. A lot of
insects produce eggs, which hatch into larvae. These are quite unlike their
adults and eat entirely different food.

Use the pictures below to complete the butterfly’s lifecycle.
Minibeast lifecycles (2)
Some minibeasts will lay eggs that hatch into young that look almost the same as the adult.
These are called nymphs.

Using the pictures below complete the lifecycle of a grasshopper.
Minibeasts and            Colour(1)
Minibeasts have many different ways of protecting themselves from being eaten by other animals. Some
minibeasts are brightly coloured to warn off predators.

What colour do you think is a good warning colour?

The bright colour tells predators that it has a nasty taste!
Can you think of any minibeasts that are brightly coloured as a warning?




Draw a picture of one of these minibeasts below.

Other minibeasts can make themselves look like other things to avoid being eaten. This is known as
protective mimicry.

What does a stick insect look like?

Hoverflies look like wasps but don’t sting. Predators think hoverflies are wasps and that they can sting so
avoid eating them!
Minibeasts and             Colour (2)
Complete the investigation below to discover if minibeasts are attracted to one colour more than any

1.    Cut out five circles of the same size from different coloured card.
2.    Lay the cards on the grass on a warm sunny day.
3.    Record how many minibeasts visit each circle in 20 minutes.

Which colour do you think will be most popular?

Colour the five circles and record each visit with a tick inside the circle.

Which colour was most popular?
Minibeasts and Camouflage
Minibeasts have many different ways of protecting themselves from being eaten by other animals.
Some minibeasts can blend in perfectly with their background and remain unseen; this is known as

The Peppered Moth has a pattern on its wings that means it is very difficult to be seen when it lands on
tree bark. Colour in the moth and the tree bark. Cut the moth out and hide it on the bark!
Minibeast Food Chains

Minibeasts eat a variety of things. Some minibeasts eat plants, they are called

h_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .

Other minibeasts eat other animals, they are called c _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _.

See if you can complete the two food chains below, one for a herbivore minibeast and one for a carnivore minibeast.



Now see if you can make up your own minibeast food chain !
Minibeasts and Pollination 1
Minibeasts have a very important role in nature.
Many flowering plants rely on minibeasts to transfer pollen from one flower to another.

What is this process called?

Pollination has to happen for the plant to make seeds and reproduce.

Name 3 minibeasts that would be most useful in helping with pollination?




Label the diagram below with the following parts: lpetal lstem lsepal l leafl stamen.
Minibeasts and Pollination (2)
Below is a drawing of a buttercup.
Why do you think minibeasts would be attracted to a flower like a buttercup?

Complete the following paragraph filling in the missing words –

Nectar, tongue, pollen, stamens, body, stigma, seeds, pollination

The flower provides a sweet, sugary drink or food called _ _ _ _ _ _ . While the minibeast

searches for the nectar with its long _ _ _ _ _ _ , _ _ _ _ _ _ from the

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ rub off onto its furry _ _ _ _ . When it visits another flower some of this

pollen may rub of onto the _ _ _ _ _ _ . This _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ will help the plant

produce _ _ _ _ _ .


Colour in and label the picture using the words below:

lAbdomen lHead lWing lThorax lAntenna


                                          1+5                  8-2

                          5+1          4+4                10-4



Add or subtract the numbers to find out which colour to use.

8 = RED                             6= BLACK

5 = GREEN                           4= WHITE
Focus on flies !
Flies can be found almost everywhere, in our gardens, in our homes, in school, in our playground and
lots of other places! Study the diagram of a fly below and see if you can answer the following questions.




                                                                       Sticky pad between claws


Which part of the fly’s body do you think it uses for ?

      Flying?           _______________                   Eating?    _______________
      Seeing?           _______________                   Feeling?   _______________
      Smelling?         _______________                   Tasting?   _______________

      Walking upside down? _______________

Compare the fly to yourself. In what ways are you different?

Flies have a very special way of seeing. They have what is called a compound eye.
In your own words describe what a fly’s vision is like?
               My Minibeast !

Here is a picture of a minibeast that I saw at
Our aim is to protect, conserve and promote the
natural and built environment for the benefit of
present and future generations.

Environment & Heritage Service
Klondyke Building
Cromac Avenue
Gasworks Business Park
Belfast BT7 2JA
Tel: 0845 3020008


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