In this lesson for K-2, students observe and draw pill bugs, then design a solution to a human problem by mimicking how a pill bug uses its body parts to help it survive. Provided with NGSS alignments (1-LS1-1 and K-2-ETS1-2) by NSTA.

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This resource is a biomimicry lesson using the book Pill Bugs by Monica Hughes. The lesson was written by Emily Morgan and Karen Ansberry and presented on the [email protected] site. NSTA curators provide detailed annotations outlining how the project is or could be aligned to NGSS standards 1-LS1-1 and K-2-ETSI-2.

The K-2 lesson plan encourages students to observe pill bug behavior during a lab and associate the behaviors with pill bug sense receptors. They list behaviors and reasons for those behaviors on a chart. Referring to their drawings of the pill bug, the students then discuss what parts of a pill bug’s body might help it sense its surroundings. Finally, they come up with a bioinspired design based on what they observed. There are links to a couple of robots that emulate the pill bug’s ability to roll up to protect itself.

There also is another lesson for Grade 3-5 students based on the book Next Time You See a Pill Bug by Emily Morgan. This lesson guides students through the process of designing and carrying out investigations to answer their own questions about pill bug behaviors. While the Grade 3-5 lesson is not a lesson in biomimicry, the K-2 lesson’s design process could be added to this lesson and students might come up with some other types of emulation based on what the they discover in their investigations.


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