Aquatic Insect Hunt


Insect Investigation — What types of insects can you find a stream?  

Read Aloud: 

Small, Small Pond by Denise Fleming


  • Spoon
  • Yogurt container (or something similar, ice cube trays work well; preferably white)
  • Tub (preferably white) filled with some water
  • Onion bag or other mesh bag 
  • Leaves 
  • Science journal or blank paper
  • Pencil
  • Magnifying glass (optional)
  • Bug box (optional)
  • Colored pencils (optional)
  • Clipboard or something hard to write on outside (optional)
  • Internet or other field guides (optional)
  • An adult or someone in your family to help

What to do:

  • You are going to go on a macroinvertebrate scavenger hunt!
  • Head outside and find a water source with easy and safe access.
  • Place some water from the stream into your tub and yogurt container and set aside.  Keep them close by.
  • Where the water is moving over rocks, turn some over to see if you can find any insects, clinging to the underside.  Be patient, look closely and watch for movement , they will be small!
  • Carefully place the insects into your yogurt container.  If you walk around the stream, take this with you.  As you collect them, come back to your starting point and place all of the insects you find into your tub of water.
  • Once you collected some, you can use the identification guide to see what you have found.
  • Another option is to fill up your onion bag full of leaves and place them in the stream.  Be sure it is secured so it will not float away.
  • The next day or in a few days, check out what insects decided to live in your leaves!  Take your bag of leaves out, place it into your tub of water and gently pull the leaves out for a closer look.
  • Take a closer look using a magnifying glass and draw and label what you find in your Science Journal.
  • Post pictures of your Science Journal on Facebook and tag us @VINS.VT!

Contact with questions or comments.