Smell Me If You Can: A Lesson About Insect Communication

(1 review)


This resource includes a lesson plan for teachers with four activities about pheromones. It also has a short lesson for teachers to present. This is a great way to teach young kids basic knowledge about social insects and chemical-based communication! It also briefly covers ant mimics, specifically spiders. Due to the extracts being used, the lesson may be difficult for kids with sensory sensitivities or certain allergies.


Author/Institution: UC Berkeley

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NGSS STEM Practices

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Standards Present


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PDF Download

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Reviews (1)

1 review for Smell Me If You Can: A Lesson About Insect Communication

  1. LessonHiveAdmin

    Gwen tested this out with 4th and 5th graders; to keep the “smells” to a minimum she used wax melts of different scents, in capped small vials. In a small classroom the smells can get overwhelming for those that are sensitive to strong smells. Worked great, and as a bonus everything looks the same: small white wax block, so they can’t use their vision to solve the puzzle of finding their “nestmates”.

    The big idea was that animals sense the world differently than we do, and thinking about how to communicate without vision. And that chemicals are part of our bodies and daily life.

    We would like to see more information about why ants are important ecologically, or some live ant observation. Pairing this with odorous house ants works great.

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