Build a Bug





Most adult insects have the following characteristics:

    1. A body divided into three parts (head, thorax and abdomen)
    2. Three pairs of legs
    3. Usually one pair of antennae and a pair of compound eyes (a few exceptions to these characteristics are found)
    4. Usually two pairs of wings (absent in many insects such as lice, fleas, ants; flies have one pair of wings)

There are approximately 30 orders of insects. Choose one of the insects from these orders.


Click on the link to learn more about the characteristics of that order. There are links to specific insects on each page.  Visit the Field Guide Index to see a listing of all insects featured in the Field Guide.


Students will build biologically correct insects in order to learn insect structure and adaptations.


Any non-food item such as cardboard, egg cartons, clay, wire, felt, Styrofoam, pipe cleaners, nylon stockings, pipe cleaners, paint, glue, string, etc.


  1. Your model must be an INSECT (i.e. no spiders, mites, ticks, centipedes, or millipedes, please). Note: Your insect does not have to live in the United States.
  2. Your model must be between 6-12 inches long, and sturdy.
  3. Be accurate when building your model (appropriate proportions, true color and form, etc.).
  4. The more detail your model has, the better.
  5. A written description must accompany your model and include:
  • The common name of the insect
  • The name of the order to which it belongs
  • A brief description of the insect’s habitat
  • Where the insect is located geographically
  • At least 2 interesting, and unique facts about the insect you have modeled (i.e. “it has 6 legs and 3 body segments” doesn’t count)
  • Your name and address on model description

Examples of Models:



Spiny KatydidMonarch
DragonflyDamselflyLuna Moth
Walking StickGrasshopperYellow jacket
Atlas MothCarpenter antPraying Mantid