MSU IPM Curriculum K-6
Exploring School Integrated Pest Managment: Activities and Resources for Teaching K-6
Our elementary school IPM curriculum, developed by Erica Jenkins, is a resource that presents the opportunity for K-6 educators to engage students in STEM educational objectives and interdisciplinary learning through Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The curriculum provides background information, hands-on activities, worksheets and links to additional sites that teachers can utilize to engage students in formal and informal real-world settings. While some of the lessons build on previous learning, most of the lessons can stand-alone. IPM can be used as a theme in the classroom for an entire year, or as enrichment to regular classroom activities. For example, inspection and monitoring activities can be done weekly, monthly or as often as desired to provide continuity throughout the year and show how things change over time.
The following publication is available in PDF format. The entire document can be downloaded or selected topics can be downloaded separately, using Adobe’s Acrobat Reader. You may need to download and install a newer version.
For additional internet resources, please see Additional Classroom Resources.
Exploring Urban Integrated Pest Management Manual (1.973 MB) - Activities and Resources for teaching K-6, 76 pages
Introduction (173 KB)
#1: Friend or Foe? (230 KB) - All living things have roles in the environment. Through discussion, activities, and games, students learn how the location of a living thing affects whether it is considered a pest.
- Join Our Pest Patrol-A Backyard Activity Book for Kids- An Adventure in IPM - From The Minnesota Department of Agriculture IPM Program.
- What’s a Pest?
- Insect Pests and Pals
#2: Create an animal (230 KB) - Students use their knowledge of habitats to create an animal and the habitat it lives in.
#3: What is IPM? (256 KB) - IPM uses knowledge gained about pest biology, habits, and habitats to choose the best combination of methods that will keep pests under control. Through reading, discussion, and crafts, students learn the steps in IPM and how they work together.
- Sci4Kids: Insects - Check out this fun site for kids about insects and insect management by USDA.
- Integrated Pest Management in the Home - Using safer methods to manage pest problems in your home. MSU Extension Bulletin E-2778.
#4: In search of life (231 KB) - In this activity students explore the school grounds as scientific explorers in search of living things. Students conduct a survey of living things present in different habitats and compile their results.
#5: Interviewing (214 KB) - In this activity, students are detectives with a mission to gather as much information they can about pests in the school. They interview people in the school to learn what they have seen or heard.
#6: Wanted dead or alive (515 KB) - In this activity students create wanted posters on pests that could be in or around their school.
- Koday’s Kids - This site has pictures and facts on many insects, not just pests. Designed by the technology director at Ivy Hall School in Illinois, this site is very kid friendly.
- MicroAngela - Another electron microscopy site, this site features electron micrographs of insects and insect pests as well as other microorganisms, cells, and more.
#7: Inspecting the school (253 KB) - Students inspect their school for evidence of pests and conditions good for pests and suggest changes that can be made to help fix the problems.
#8: May I take your order? (182 KB) - Pests, like all animals, have specific needs for survival. In this activity, students create a restaurant and menu for pests. Fun and creative, this activity challenges students to use their knowledge of needs such as food, water, shelter, air, space, etc., to create the perfect dining experience for pests.
#9: Preferred destinations (197 KB) - A building or a yard contains many places that are perfect for pests to live and get food and water. Focusing on the needs and preferences of a specific pest, students design a travel brochure or poster highlighting one or several “preferred destinations” in the building or grounds.
#10: All about rodents (431 KB) - In IPM we need to learn about the biology, habits and abilities of pests in order to manage them effectively. Students take notes and learn about the characteristics, capabilities and life cycles of two rodent pests: the Norway rat and the house mouse.
- Rodent teacher fact sheet (280 KB) - Information about rodent characteristics, life cycle of the Norway rat, house mouse and rodents as pests.
- Classroom experiments with mice (313 KB) - Observe the behavior of domestic mice.
- All About Mammals - Check out this fun site! It contains information and activity sheets on mammals.
#11: Biological Control (456 KB) - Biological control is a method of managing pests by using natural enemies. In this lesson students learn about three groups of natural enemies of pests and how they can be used in an IPM program.
- Predator, parasite or pathogen quiz (in color, 136 KB) - Students determine the biological method being used to control pictured pests.
- Quiz in PowerPoint
- Biological Control: A Guide to Natural Enemies in North America - Weeden, C.R., Shelton, A.M., & Hoffman, M.P., Cornell University. Great background information (geared to adults).
- Pests Have Enemies Too: Teaching Young Scientists About Biological Control - Jeffords, M.R. & Hodgins, A.S. 1995. Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign, IL, special publication 18. Excellent resource guide and lesson plans for middle school students on biological control. (for fee only) To order: call (217) 333-6880 or order online.
- Join Our Pest Patrol-A Backyard Activity Book for Kids- An Adventure in IPM - Minnesota Department of Agriculture IPM Program
- Fighting Pests with the Three P’s - Student worksheet about how predators, parasites and pathogens control pests.
- Pests Have Enemies Too: Aphids and Ladybugs - Activity sheet about how ladybugs control aphids.
- Biological Control pictures - Images of insects and their relatives. University of Nebraska, Department of Entomology.
#12: All about insects (268 KB) - In IPM we need to learn about the biology, habits and abilities of pests in order to manage them effectively. Students take notes and learn about the characteristics, capabilities and life cycles of insects.
- Insect teacher fact sheet (129 KB) - Information on insect anatomy, growth and development, explaining the difference between complete metamorphosis and incomplete metamorphosis.
- Roach World Website - Discovery Communications. A great kid-friendly site about roaches. Includes IPM techniques to keep them away.
- Using Live Insects in Elementary Classrooms - Center for Insect Education Outreach, University of Arizona, 1997. K-6 curriculum which includes 20 lesson plans that utilize insects to teach all kinds of concepts to young learners. Includes activity sheets, fact sheets, and rearing sheets on the insects used. (free on website)
Carolina Biological Supply, Inc. - One source of insects and other scientific supplies for schools.
The MSU IPM Program maintains this site as an access point to pest management information at MSU. The IPM Program is administered within the Department of Entomology, fueled by research from the AgBioResearch, delivered to citizens through MSU Extension, and proud to be a part of Project GREEEN.