Insect Collection

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Learners use several types of insect sampling and collection equipment to make an insect collection. Learners can collect insects from their schoolyard or yard at home. Insect collections are a good way to estimate the abundance and number of species in an area. This can be a longterm project over a period of days or weeks.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

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

Age Range:
Ages 14 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 2 Quadrats: 1 square meter
  • Beating sheet
  • Sweep net
  • 2 Aerial nets
  • 4-8 Plastic vials
  • Plastic Ziplock gallon bags
  • Glassine envelopes or triangles for butterflies and dragonflies (wax paper would suffice)
  • Soft forceps
  • Data labels with student name, date
  • Sharpie markers for labeling plastic bags


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
    • Ecology
      • Populations
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Gathering Data

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Collecting
  • Outdoor Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Hill, Ryan ; VanderSal, Nicole ; Purcell, Alison


  • All rights reserved, Berkeley Natural History Museums and the Regents of the University of California, 2011