Aquatic Macroinvertebrates





Aquatic Bug Background Research
· Students will conduct academic research on an aquatic macroinvertebrate and give an oral presentation highlighting some of the important identification characteristics, behaviors, food and habitat needs, life cycle, and pollution tolerance.

Aquatic Insect Creek Geek Knowledgy
· Students work in teams to play Creek Geek Knowledgy (Jeopardy) to review concepts from the entire aquatic insects unit. Go to on-line game.  Click here for middle school version of game.  

Aquatic Insect Lab Practical
· Students will participate in a lab practical – a hands-on, investigative examination or review of many topics pertaining to aquatic insects. Includes identification, examining body features, classifying insects into functional groups, and making connections between insects and their habitat and water quality needs.  Lab Practical – Questions Chart

Aquatic Insect Life Cycles
· Students will participate in a hands-on game about aquatic insect life cycles and then a worksheet to learn about the stages of life cycles and how some insects rely on water as part of their life cycle.  Match Quiz   Game Pieces  Game Board (11×17)

Aquatic Insect Parts and Pieces
· Students will create real or fictitious aquatic insects to illustrate and label main body parts. Macro Anatomy Match Game

Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Sampling
· Using kick nets, students sample aquatic insects to discover the diversity that exists in waterways, learn how to identify the creatures, and determine the water quality based on the organisms caught.

Artificial Leaf Packs
· Students will install artificial leaf packs in various stream conditions and locations to collect aquatic insects and then identify them.

Create an Aquatic Macroinvertebrate
· Students create imaginary macroinvertebrates with special physical and behavioral adaptations.  Create Your Own Macroinvertebrate Worksheet

How Sensitive are They?
· Students will identify, study, and categorize preserved specimens according to their pollution tolerance index group classification.

Life at the Surface
· Students can do a few things to learn more about surface dwelling aquatic insects: catch them at the stream, keep and observe them in an aquarium, conduct demonstrations on surface tension, and review water walkers under the microscope.

Macroinvertebrate Match Game
· Students will identify aquatic macroinvertebrates by matching illustrations of aquatic insects with the correct name on a game board. Students can use illustration guides or dichotomous keys.

Macro Mayhem! 
· Students will participate in an active game illustrating the effects that environmental stresses have on aquatic organisms.

Microhabitats #1 – Quantitative Study of Microhabitats

· In a quantitative procedure, students examine and compare microhabitats in an aquatic ecosystem, recording physical and biological data.

Microhabitats #2 – Qualitative Study of Microhabitats
· In a qualitative method, students observe the aquatic life in a stream area and then create a simple field guide of their microhabitat from what they observed.

Multi-Plate Sampling
· Students will install multi-plate samplers in various stream conditions and locations to collect aquatic insects and then identify them.

Pollution Tolerance Index – Bag of Bugs
· Students will interpret a fictitious macroinvertebrate sampling to determine water quality using a biological assessment and pollution tolerance index classification. PTI Datasheet.

Module Resource Guide Information:

PA Fish Commission Information Section
Includes the Educational Aquatic Field Study Permit Application that you will need to fill out in order to do legal aquatic insect studies.

Presentation Section
Includes the script for the Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Presentation available online.

Articles Section
A selection of articles about aquatic insects that you can COPY and use in the classroom.

Specific Aquatic Insect Fact Sheets
Creek Connections created fact sheets on over 25 specific aquatic insects.

Illustration Pages Section
Includes illustration pages of aquatic insects that you can COPY and use. Included is the Creek Connections bug cups worksheet with illustrations and descriptions of what to look for on each bug.

Identification Keys Section
Includes a selection of identification/dichotomous keys that you can COPY and use. Some are simple; some are complex.
Pond and Stream Study Guide – Dichotomous Key

Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Reference Collections

Includes lists of the contents of the module’s Identified Reference Collection (Petri dishes) and Unidentified Reference Collection (petri dishes) and Plastomount (plastic blocks) specimens.

Un-Identified Insect Key

Un-Identified Insect Key Labels

Pollution Tolerance Index Section
Includes the PTI Data Sheet that we encourage you to use with your students to determine the health of your stream. This version is the version adopted by the state for citizen stream monitoring groups.

Instructions / Procedures Section
Includes How To sheets for various sampling methods and for preserving aquatic insect specimens.

Activities Section
Has the activity write ups for over a dozen activities included in the module.

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