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Insect and Spider Differences

Have you ever wondered why we have so many insects and spiders? If they "bug" you to the point that you want to destroy them, maybe you should know a few things.

Insects and spiders are alike in some ways. They are small, cold-blooded animals, and they don't have backbones (invertebrate). One way they are different than other animals is the number of legs they have. Complete the activity below to find out how many legs both insects and spiders have.


Look at these pictures carefully and count the legs of both the grasshopper and the spider.

Did you count six legs on the grasshopper? That's right! Did you notice other parts of the grasshopper that are the same or different than the spider?


Spiders have eight legs. They also make webs to catch their dinner.

Before you destroy the next insect, know that they may do some good. A grasshopper may be a meal for a bird, and a spider may catch that pesky fly that is bugging you!

Try it!

Invent your own personal bug. Remember, all insects have the following parts:

Head - contains eyes, mouth, and two feelers called antennae

Thorax - the middle section

Abdomen - he end section. This is where the insect digests its food. Sometimes it has a pincher or a stinger.

Legs - all insects have three pairs of legs (six legs in all)

Draw your bug on a piece of paper. Give your bug a name, and answer these questions:

1. How does your insect travel? (Does it fly, crawl, swim, or hop?)

2. What does it eat?

3. How does it protect itself? (Can it change colors or does it bite or sting?)

4. What does it like to do during the day or night time?

WOW! You made it to the end of 4th Grade Sci-ber Text. You can choose a different section from the photos below if you want to review what you learned.

Download the plug-ins: Get Adobe Acrobat Reader , and Get Quicktime Player. (The QuickTime plug-in is needed to play sounds and movies correctly.)

Want to share photos of you or your friends doing this activity? Send it in an e-mail with the following information:

  1. The title of the activity
  2. The URL (Internet address)
  3. Your name.

Remember that no pictures can be used that show student faces or student names on it. 

Teachers should view the Teacher Site Map to relate Sci-ber text and the USOE 4th grade science core.

Updated October 24, 2008 by: Glen Westbroek

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