Catch and Release Insect Collecting


Activity Description: 

This activity worksheet guides students on how to practice "catch and release" insect collecting, where to look for insects, and how to observe them after they are caught.


After completing this activity students will:

  • Know how to use a net to collect insects.
  • Know where to look for insects.
  • Understand how to observe insects.
Educational Standards: 

112.16. Grade 5

SCI.5.4 The student knows how to use a variety of tools and methods to conduct science inquiry.


SCI.5.4.A collect, record, and analyze information using tools, including calculators, microscopes, cameras, computers, hand lenses, metric rulers, Celsius thermometers, prisms, mirrors, pan balances, triple beam balances, spring scales, graduated cylinders, beakers, hot plates, meter sticks, magnets, collecting nets, and notebooks; timing devices, including clocks and stopwatches; and materials to support observations of habitats or organisms such as terrariums and aquariums

112.19. Grade 7

SCI.7.4 The student knows how to use a variety of tools and safety equipment to conduct science inquiry.


SCI.7.4.A use appropriate tools to collect, record, and analyze information, including life science models, hand lens, stereoscopes, microscopes, beakers, Petri dishes, microscope slides, graduated cylinders, test tubes, meter sticks, metric rulers, metric tape measures, timing devices, hot plates, balances, thermometers, calculators, water test kits, computers, temperature and pH probes, collecting nets, insect traps, globes, digital cameras, journals/notebooks, and other equipment as needed to teach the curriculum

Pre-Activity Prep: 
  • Make copies of worksheet for students
  • Identify an area outdoors where students can collect insects
  • Insect collecting net
  • Plastic or glass jar with lid
  • Notepad or notebook paper
  • Pencil or pen
  • “Insect Orders” sheet
  • Hammer (optional)
  • Small nail (optional)
One class period
Michigan State University Extension, Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial