Kingdom Animalia--Lesson 8

Lesson 8--Arthropods (Phylum Arthropoda--Jointed Foot)

We are moving now from vertebrate animals (animals with back bones) to invertebrates.  Review the terms vertebrate and invertebrate.

Read about Arthropods in a good reference book.  Our favorites are What is an Arthropod and Come Learn With Me: Animals Without Backbones

Characteristics of Arthropods

1) Exoskeleton (outside skeleton) made of chitin

2) Molting (cast off or shed feathers, skin, exoskeleton in the process of growth and renewal) of outgrown exoskeleton

3) Jointed legs

4) Segmented bodies

There are three major groups of arthropods:

Arachnids (Class Arachinida)

1) Eight legs

2) Only two body segments (segment: any of the discrete parts of the body of an animal, especially of an arthropod)

3) Usually eight eyes

Insects (Class Insecta--cut into sections)

1) Three pairs of jointed legs (jointed: the movable or fixed place or part where two bones or elements of a skeleton join)

2) Three body segments (head, thorax, abdomen)

3) One or two pairs of wings

4) One pair of antennae

Crustaceans (Subphylum Crustacea)

1) Live in or near water

2) Five pairs of jointed legs

3) Two pairs of antennae

While discussing arthropods be sure to compare and contrast to other animals studied thus far.

Objectives: Students will be able to list common characteristics of arthropods.  Students will be able to differentiate between arachnids, insects, and crustaceans.  Students will be able to define the terms exoskeleton, molting, segmented, and jointed.


Younger students: Draw a picture of a particular species of arthropod and use the biodiversity website to explore the animal's taxonomy.

Older students: Fill out an animal report form (this one from CurrClick is free and will work for this activity), making sure to include the characteristics that make this animal an arthropod.  Use the bio-diversity website to explore the animal's taxonomy.


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