The Bug Walk

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In this fun group activity involving music and movement, learners are introduced to the idea that many insects walk by using their legs to create "alternating triangles." Learners sing the "Ants Go Marching" song and then study insect specimens. They make models of insects with six legs using Styrofoam and dowels or pencils and brainstorm ideas about how insects walk with all those legs. The most active part of The Bug Walk is when learners, in groups of five, pretend they are an insect's body and simulate an insect's movement. At the end, they discuss what it was like, what problems they had, and ideas for how their walk could have been easier.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Game, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Simulation


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Hand lens or dissecting microscopes
  • Insect specimens (variety; live or replica)
  • Styrofoam (various sizes)
  • Dowels or pencils
  • Red bandanas and blue bandanas (at least three of each color for each group of five children)


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Animals
  • Mathematics
    • Geometry
      • Plane Geometry
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Model Building
  • Music
  • Nature and Environment
  • Performing Arts
  • Physical Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • hear
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Rogers Huff, Paula


  • All rights reserved, Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System, 2005