Author - Carolyn MacLulich for the Australian Museum
Illustrations - Australian Museum photography
Publisher - Scholastic Australia Pty Ltd, 1997

Overview of Text
This text is in a report format and provides factual information about different insects, where they live (habitat), and what they look like.  It talks about similarities and differences, how insects help people and how insects can harm. 

Language Features
This text contains the following language features:
- Insect names (living nouns)
- Insect verbs - fly, jump, walk, lay eggs, hatch
- Contains Labels - for insect body parts
- Technical nouns related to insect body parts, e.g. thorax, abdomen, body, antennae
- Subject specific vocabulary
Throughout the text examples of insects are listed using words such as 'like' and 'such as'.  For example - 'Some insects, such as   butterflies, fly'.

Other textual Features
This text contains coloured photographs of insects and their habitats and all images support the factual information about each insect.  For example - the photograph on page six clearly shows the body parts of an insect as described in the text.

Suitable for students in lower primary: Year 1 - Year 3


Before Reading Activities

Activity 1 - Introduce the word 'insect' with some discussion. 
Ask children to brainstorm the different types of insects that they know and write these
up onto a large sheet of paper

Activity 2 - Labelled drawings
Ask children to draw and label a picture of an insect they know and like.
In pairs, then again in small groups, ask children to share and compare their insect drawings.

Activity 3 - List the students prior knowledge
of insects using a labelled chart.
include headings like:
- Types of Insects, e.g. bee
- What they look like, e.g. wings and stripes
- Where we find them, e.g. bee hive, garden

Activity 4 - Introduce a KWL chart
As a whole class, outline what the students 'Know' and 'Want to Know' about insects.  Later on the section on 'Learned' can be filled in.

Activity 5 - Collect, observe and draw insects from home and school
Ask children to collect beetles, bugs and other insects from home and bring them to school for an insect discovery session.  Set up different insect stations around the
room with pictures, images and books on each insect as well as the insects brought
in by students.  Students can walk around the class in small groups and use magnifying glasses to examine the insects up close.
Extension ideas:
- Set up a class worm farm or ant colony.
- Arrange for a museum visit or display of insects

Activity 6 - Investigate where more information about insects can be found
In small groups allow students to freely explore and talk about a range of texts related to Insects.  These texts can be made available in the classroom throughout the unit - include fiction and non-fiction.
Discuss with the students and ask questions, for example:
- Where would we find more information about insects?
Responses - ask people, look
  at insects, look at books, library, museum
What information will we find in books?
Responses - pictures, where they live,
   what they do
- Do all books contain facts about insects?  How do we know?


These first three activities check the students' prior knowledge of insects and can be used later to compare the students' new knowledge.

Text-participants: students practise talking and sharing - to learn from each other

This can be used to help with the direction of future teaching.  For example, if a number of students are interested in a particular type of insect, arrange for museum samples to be on display in the classroom.

Text-participants: students' discovery process.  They see that more information about insects can be found by closely observing them and looking at pictures and books.


During Reading Activities

Activity 7 - Read the text 'Insects' by Carolyne MacLulich (Factual report format)
Discuss the text with the students and talk about some new information the students
have read about Insects. 
Ask questions:
Is this text factual or made up? How do we know?  Discuss pictures, diagrams, labels, facts.
Talk about the text being a Report
What facts about insects does this text tell us?
Question as follows:
      - How many legs do insects have?
      - What are some other body parts of insects?
      - Do all insects have wings?
      - What do baby insects look like?

Activity 8 - Read the text 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle (Narrative Format)
Discuss the text with the students. 
Is this text Fiction (factual) or Non-Fiction (made-up)?  How do we know?
Talk about the text being a Narrative
Discuss pictures and talk about the differences.
Does this text contain facts or useful information? How do we know.
What facts about caterpillars does this text tell us?  What is made-up?


Students as text-participants: introduce a factual text in report format which provides more information about insects. 

Text-analysts: Students learn that non-fiction books contain facts and pictures about insects.

Introduce a narrative text about insects
Students learn that fiction books contain made-up information about insects, as well as some facts. e.g The Very Hungry Caterpillar

After Reading Activities

Activity 9 - Compare the two differents texts - Factual Report and Fictional Narrative - using a chart with the following headings:
What do we see in reports?
    - Photographs
    - diagrams
    - labels
    - facts
    - headings
What do we see in narratives?
    - Insects drawn in bright colours
    - insects talking
    - Insects doing human things - like eating cake
    - Insects speaking

Activity 10 - Jumbled sentences
Provide small groups of students with sentences from the above two texts cut into strips.  Ask the students to sort the the words into sentences and then justify whether their sentence contains facts (non-fiction) or is made-up (Fictional narrative). 
For example:
The next day was Friday so the caterpillar ate five strawberries - but he was still hungry'. (Fictional Narrative)
Some insects are dangerous to people because they can spread disease or because they can bite and sting. (Factual - Non-Fiction)

Activity 11 - Compose a definition of an insect collaboratively with the students - for example:
Insects have six legs
- Insects have three body parts called, head, thorax and abdomen
- Some insects can walk, some can fly, some can jump. 
- Some insects can help us
- Some insects bite, and
- Some insects can sting

Activity 12 - Model the drawing of an Insect diagram and labelling of the body parts.
Refer back to earlier lessons and name the body parts of head, thorax, abdomen and antennae.  Ask students to draw a picture of an insect and label the body parts.

Activity 13 - Model information gathering for report writing
Model how to gather information about an insect using a range of texts including posters, photographs, diagrams and simple written texts/reports.
Record all of this information on strips and then collaboratively arrange this infomation
into a report format - using a concept map - (see below example):

Concept Map
Heading/Title                                    Honey Bees
What kind of animal?                       Insect
What do they look like?                   Three body parts, six legs and two wings
Where do they live?                         In bee hives
What do they do?                             Fly, collect pollen
Interesting fact?                                Bee keepers gather honey from honey bees

Activity 14 - Small group work
Students work in small groups to gather information about an insect using a range of texts.  They record this information in a graphic organiser - report format as above.  i.e. Heading, What kind of animal, What do they look like, What do they do?
Class sharing of each groups' reports.  Is there any more information we can add? 
For example, does your insect sting or bite?

Activity 15 - Model Report Writing
Honey Bees are insects (What kind of animal?)
They have three body parts, six legs and two wings (What do they look like?)
Bees live in hives.  They fly from flower to flower to collect pollen. (Where do they live,
what do they do?)
Bee Keepers gather honey from bee hives. (Interesting fact)

Activity 16 - Cloze Passage
Use a cloze passage to focus on particular words, ensure students know where they belong in a passage and to check for comprehension, e.g. honey bees, they, bees,
Bee-keepers, bee.  Also checking for correct use of singular (bee) and plural (bees). 
Sample cloze passage:

_______  ______ are insects.

_____ have three body parts, six legs and two wings.

_____ live in hives.  _______ fly from flower to flower to collect pollen.

_____  ________ gather honey from ______ hives.

Activity 17 - Writing Information Report
Students can design an information report on their favourite insect from Activity 2, with reference to the modelled sample and concept map. 

Activity 18 - Edit draft

Discuss each students' writing one-on-one. Review drafts and assist them to edit. 

Activity 19 - Insect diagram/drawing 
Students can illustrate their information report by either editing or redrawing their insect from Activity 2.  Illustrations can be labelled. 

Activity 20 - Publish and display
Students finalise their Information Reports and Insect diagrams and display them about the classroom.


Students learn to be text-users and text analysts.

Students learn that texts are used for different purposes and contain different information. 

They compare narratives and reports and the different information found in each.

Code-breakers: using the text to compose a definition

Text-users: students use various texts to produce a labelled diagram of an insect.  Students learn that photographs and diagrams also contain useful information.

Students read various texts and use the information to write an Information Report.

Text-participants: students learn to talk and share information to achieve an outcome. (Practise of oral language skills)

Text-users: students learn about the Information Report genre.

To check for comprehension.

Students as text-users