Free Resources to Learn About Arthropods

August 6, 2020

Jeannette Tuionetoa

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Are your students ready to learn all about creepy crawlies this year? These free resources to learn about arthropods will go great alongside your creepy crawler unit study.

Free Resources to Learn About Arthropods

Creepy crawlers are not my favorite topic, but they are important creatures for kids to learn about. We live with arthropods all around us, more so than any other animals – even your beloved pets.

Why study arthropods?

In biology, a phylum is a level of classification or taxonomic category. It is below what’s considered a kingdom and above a class.

Arthropods are everywhere and therefore are the largest animal phylum. Arthropods account for 85% of all the known animals in the entire world. There are more species of arthropods than there are species in all other phyla combined.

That is way too many for me to comprehend or want even to comprehend. Yet, I know the Lord has created it that way, so I guess we will deal with it. As much as we hate seeing them around us, thankfully, many don’t want to see us either.

Although there many, many arthropods in the world, they each share a few important distinguishing characteristics.

Here are some distinguishing arthropod characteristics:

They all have an exoskeleton.

All arthropods are invertebrates meaning they do not have internal bones. Because of this, they have a hard exoskeleton made of chitin (a mix of proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates). This outer exoskeleton covers the body and protects their bodies like a suit of armor.

They molt (shed) this exoskeleton at least once in their lifetime. It takes only a few minutes to molt and a few hours for the new exoskeleton to form.

Interestingly, in the period they molt their exoskeleton, they are also super vulnerable to predators. Predators eat approximately 80-90% of them during this short period that they are molting.

Arthropods have segmented bodies.

This means that their bodies are made up of different parts. They are internally and externally segmented. The segmentation varies between species. For instance, flies have three segments, and spiders have two segments.

These creatures have something called bilateral symmetry.

Bilateral symmetry is a cool way of saying that their bodies can be divided vertically (down the middle) and display two mirror images.

Jointed legs/appendages make these animals creepy crawlies.

The Greek meaning of arthropod is “arthro,” meaning joint and “pod,” meaning foot. Their joined limbs are attached to their hard exoskeletons, which allow them flexibility and movement.

Arthropods also have an open circulatory system.

We have a circulatory system that is made of interconnected veins and capillaries. However, an arthropod’s blood is pumped through open spaces in their bodies called sinuses to reach its tissues. That’s some pretty interesting stuff for kids to learn about.

Grab some free resources to learn about arthropods in your homeschool:

All About Arthropods | KidZone

Arthropod facts for kids | Kids.Kiddle

Resources for Teaching about Arthropods | Simple Science

FREE Printables and Unit Studies About Invertebrates

free printables and unit studies about invetebrates text with photo of a jellyfish in water.

Circle the Arthropods FREE Worksheet | All Kids Network

Arthropods (Arachnid, Insect, etc.) Vocabulary Activity – FREE Graphic Organizer | KeepItSimpleStudents

Life Cycle Mobiles for an Arthropod FREEBIE | Simply Science

Add these videos to your lessons on arthropods.

The Arthropods | Educational Video for Kids

Arthropods (Arthropoda Classes) Chart FREE Video | KeepItSimpleStudents

Insect Videos for Kids | Primary Theme Park

These activities will go great alongside your lessons for some interactive learning fun.

STEM Club: Investigating Arthropods | Eva Varga

Insect Clothespin Craft for Kids! | Little Passports

I Have Who Has Arthropods Game FREEBIE | Simply Science

Understanding Arthropods – Taxonomy FREE Activity | Wiseman Learning

Handprint Crab Keepsake Printable – Kid Craft Idea | Glued to my Crafts

Arthropods are divided into four different groups:

  • insects
  • myriapods (including centipedes and millipedes)
  • arachnids (including spiders, mites, and scorpions)
  • crustaceans (including slaters, prawn and crabs)

Grab these free resources to learn about arthropods divided by their groups below:


FREE Insects & Spiders Life Cycles Cut & Paste

Free Lifecycle Worksheets text with image examples

Insect FREE Fact Cards | Stay at Home Educator

FREE All About Insects Nature Study Printable Packet | Mom Wife Homeschool Life

Free Insect Nature Study Packet text with arrow pointing to page examples

Insect Nature Study FREE Printables – Learning About Bugs | Homeschool Creations

Bingo -Insects FREE Printable and Unit Study | Gift of Curiosity

FREE Butterfly Unit: Printables, Activities & More! | FREE Homeschool Deals

Butterfly Printables (FREE) | Montessori Nature

Butterfly FREE Unit Study | The Crafty Classroom

Life Cycle of a Butterfly FREE Resources and Printables | Around the Kampfire

FREE Preschool Science Lesson: Learning About Bees | SpellOutLoud

Learning About Bees text with image collage of a bee on a flower and bees wax

Bees FREE Unit Study | Year Round Homeschooling

Easy Bee Life Cycle FREE Learning Kit | Thrifty Momma’s Tips

Learning About Bees Activities and FREE Printable | A Little Pinch of Perfect

Myriapods (including centipedes and millipedes)

Myriapods, the Many-Legged Arthropods | ThoughtCo.

Millipedes, centipedes, and relatives Myriapoda | BioKids

Myriapoda Facts for Kids | Kids.Kiddle

Centipedes and Millipedes: Lots of Legs, What’s the Difference? | Live Science

FREE Centipede Coloring Page | SuperColoring

Arachnids (including spiders, mites, and scorpions)

Arachnid Nature Club Hike – FREE Arachnid Journal Page | Kathy’s Cluttered Mind

FREE Insects & Spider Silhouette Cards | The Pinay Homeschooler

Montessori-inspired Arachnid Activities for Preschoolers FREE Printable | Every Star is Different

(FREE) Spider Lap Book | Preschool Powol Packets

Life Cycle of a Spider FREE Printables and Resources | Simple Living Mama

Scorpion Anatomy FREE Worksheet |

Crustaceans (including slaters, prawn, and crabs).

Crab Anatomy FREE Worksheet |

FREE Crab Printables | ThoughtCo.

Crab Facts & FREE Worksheets | KidsKonnect

Crustaceans Printable Coloring Pages (FREE) | Coloring All

Arthropods can fly, they crawl, and they creep all over the place. They can live on land, the ocean, and in ponds. Undoubtedly, these versatile creatures are ones we will come in contact with more than any other in our lifetime.

Although we may not love being surrounded by these creepy crawlers, they remain some of the most interesting animals in the world.

Free Resources to Learn About Arthropods


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