This week we are finding out about all the important things that insects do. Here is a summary:
Insects are linchpins of the living world, carrying out numerous functions that make life possible.
Insects pollinate a spectrum of plants, including many of those that humans rely on for food. They also are key players in other important jobs including breaking dead things down into the building blocks for new life, controlling weeds and providing raw materials for medicines. And they provide sustenance for a spectrum of other animals.
Can you see the 3 main things that insects do that help things run smoothly in the ecosystem?
Pollinating plants. Find out more about pollination by watching this clip here.
Breaking down dead things.
Providing food for other animals.
Now let's think about climate change and how it might be affecting insects. Check out the NASA website for children here to remind yourself about climate change.
So now, let's ask this important question:
As the Earth's atmosphere warms up, how will insects be impacted?
One environmental website writes:
Worldwide, a 2014 summary of global declines in biodiversity and abundance estimated a 45 percent drop in the abundance of invertebrates, most of which are insects. And many individual species and species groups are declining or even being threatened with extinction, from bumblebees in Europe and the United States to fungus weevils in Africa.
Another website for farmers says that insect numbers go up with increased climate temperatures and that insects could eat a lot of crops meant for humans to eat. Have a look at this infographic:
Alternatively, perhaps insects can help reduce climate change another way:
Would you be prepared to eat insects instead of meat if it could help to save our planet?
So, there are lots of different points of view but in the UK it does seem that insect numbers are decreasing, which could have an impact on pollination of our fruit trees and lots of other plants.
Choose tasks from the following Independent Learning Activities, do at least one:
1. Write a report about climate change and how you it could affect insects. How could this impact humans too?
2. Create a T-chart to show the different opinions about what will happen to insects because of climate change. You could use headings like: Positive Impact and Negative Impact.
3. Create a poster to explain to a younger child why insects are important. Include the things they do that help the ecosystem run smoothly. Make it clear and colourful.
4. Watch the clip below and learn to draw your own fly. Around it write about all the important things that insects do.
Well done entomologists! (that is a scientific word for someone who studies insects). Don't forget, if you would like me to see any of your work, you can take a picture of it and send it to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Have fun with your learning today,