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Data activity ideas

We’ve included a few inspiration ideas below of ways that teachers may with to use the data generated from this project, but we’re sure that you will come up with all sorts of ways to share, explore and utilise the information. Feel free to comment below with your own ideas too!

  • Cut out the images without their order names. Ask students to work in groups to sort the images into different groups. They will need to explain their criteria and why they have grouped different species together.
  • Have students cut out the images and arrange them to make a physical column graph comparing the number of each order collected. Discuss the advantages of presenting the information this way rather on an A4 sheet. Discuss some of the limitations, for example does the way the are cut out and the space between images affect how we interpret the data? Translate this into a column graph using digital technology.
  • Split students into groups and give each group a different family of insects from the results pages. Ask them to observe the features and come up with a list of criteria a species needs to be included in that group.
  • Split students into pairs or small groups. Allocate each group an insect or a couple of insects which were also found by other schools. Get each group to use BOLD or google maps to locate the other schools which found those same insects, and then do some research. They could ask:
    • What is the distance between the schools that found this insect?
    • What are the common landscape/habitat features of these locations?
    • What are the common climate features of these places?
    • What hypothesis could you make on the needs of this insect based on your research?
  • Ask students to choose a species that was collected by many schools. Ask them to make a graph which shows how many schools in each participating state collected that species.
  • Using images from BOLD or the images from their school Insect Investigator page, get students to draw a chosen insect in as much detail as possible and to scientifically label their illustration. A guide to scientific illustration from the South Australian Museum is here though design for secondary classes this be adapted to suit younger students. Students could also investigate scale in this activity and explore drawing their insects to scale.
  • Students conduct further research on one of the specimens collected (using the link to Atlas of Living Australia: ‘Learn more about this group!) and present findings to the class.
  • Students choose three of the specimens collected and combine the features to create their own super-insect. Ask: “What features did you use from each of the specimens and why?”
  • Ask students “of the insects collected by your school, which is your favourite and why? If you were one of the insects collected, which would you most want to be and why?”
  • Ask students to look at the range of insects collected by your class – what does it tell you about the local environment?
  • Investigate insect classification and create a flow chart, mobile, puzzle or game to represent.

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