Buzz Into Action with the Build-A-Bug Activity

Examine the anatomic structure of live insects and then make your own creative, yet accurate, model in this hands-on, bug-art session.  You can create an anatomically correct insect using simple craft materials including clay, pipe cleaners, buttons, beads and feathers.  Include any other miscellaneous materials as the children will be sure to find a use for them. My first and often only instruction is to create three balls of clay for the head, thorax and abdomen and run a coffee straw or pipe cleaner through the middle to hold them in place.  Once the basic structure of the insect is created the children will begin to build-a-bug based on their previous learning.  Encourage them to make it anatomically accurate.  You’ll be impressed by their unique creations and can relate the diversity of their creations to the incredible diversity of insects found within the natural world.

Check to see if it really is an insect:

  • 3 body parts-head, thorax & abdomen
  • 6 legs, 2 eyes, Antenna
  • Wings – Maybe, maybe not

David Alexander is author of the Buzz Into Action & Hop Into Action Science Curricula.  He specializes in making nature accessible to people and wildlife.  You can follow him at


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