Prior to this lesson, students will be engaged in a unit of study around insects and how the 3 main parts of an insect (head, thorax, abdomen) have essential functions. This lesson is a culminating assessment integrating 3D printing and the study of insects with a focus on the 3 main parts of an insect (head, thorax, abdomen) as well as the function of these parts. Students will be creating their own insect to demonstrate their understanding of the 3 main parts of an insect.
Students will be creating their own insect to demonstrate their understanding of the 3 main parts of an insect.
Students will be able to explain how their insects external parts help the insect to adapt and survive in an environment.
Understanding the Lesson
Duration: 1 week
Preparation: Understanding the Lesson (10 minutes) - (video lesson for teachers)
Lesson - Part 1 (Drawing the Insect)
Approximate time - 30 minutes
Our first graders started by designing an insect that had the required parts of an insect. This drawing activity really enforced the concept of the characteristics of an insect. The insect could be a real insect or an insect that has yet to be discovered. I had printed several examples so that students had a concrete idea of what the insect would be made of.
One important note is that I should have had students trace the pencil drawing without lifting their black marker to ensure that no pieces of the body were not connected. We had a few butterflies that fell apart after being printed.
Use Assessment Rubric to assess student insect before printing.
Lesson - Part 2 (Capturing the Insects to 3D Print)
Approximate time = 2-10 minutes per insect depending on if the student or an adult does this step
To capture our student drawings, I used the new feature in the MakerBot PrintShop app called Shape Maker. I used one iPad and did it instead of having the students do it because of the need for retakes and to preserve instructional time. Students could do this part but you will need to allocate a decent amount of time for each student or log several iPads into the same MakerBot Account on MakerBot Printshop. For some of the drawings, it took several times to catch the insect correctly but most of the insects were very easy to capture.
Lesson - Part 3 (Printing the Insect)
Approximate time - 20 minutes per insect
Resolution: 0.2 mm
You may choose to use a raft depending on your printer. Our insects printed successfully without a raft or supports.
Using one MakerBot account on iPads allows all of the insects to be uploaded and printed.
Lesson - Part 4 (Extensions)
Art - After the insects were printed, our students created beautiful habitats for their insects in art class.
Writing - Students could also create informational stories about their insect or the process of bringing their insect to life.
Presentation - Students share their finished insect as well as explain the different structures of their insect and the function of these structures.
This lesson requires the following:
- iPad with the MakerBot PrintShop app (free) installed
- White Paper (copy paper)
- Black sharpie marker or bold black marker
The assessment should occur before sending the insect to be printed in Step 1. There is no desire for a student to have an insect fail in printing or for the opportunity to reteach about the main parts of an insect to occur.
Skills Learned (Standards)
1-LS1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
LS1.A: Structure and Function
All organisms have external parts. Different animals use their body parts in different ways to see, hear, grasp objects, protect themselves, move from place to place, and seek, find, and take in food, water and air. (1-LS1-1)
Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., explore a number of “how-to” books on a given topic and use them to write a sequence of instructions). (1-LS1-1)