Food Production and Insects

This resource is a set of 5 lesson plans with slides, an experiment (with worksheets for analysing the results) and assessment items.  The target audience for this resource is for learners aged between 14 and 16 years.

Entomophagy is the human consumption of insects as food – it represents a sustainable alternative to the environmentally destructive effects of livestock based protein. The lessons presented here are based around a project designed to test the food conversion efficiency and water footprint of mealworms.

The lessons here are presented as 5 individual lessons each 50 minutes in length.  They are designed to be incorporated into the school’s curriculum surrounding the food production unit for National 5 students. Providing that classes are taught when the food production unit would normally be delivered, these lessons can act as a detailed blueprint of how to teach the two related subjects in tandem.

Learning Outcomes:

  • To show that edible insects represent a potential solution to dealing with the negative effects of livestock agriculture
  • To improve investigative and interpretive skills, in line with the curriculum for excellence benchmark skills in the sciences, via an experiment testing sustainability metrics of insects.

Curriculum for Excellence benchmarks covered in the lessons :

  • SOC 4-09a – Having evaluated the role of agriculture in the production of food and raw material, I can draw reasoned conclusions about the environmental impacts and sustainability.
  • SCN 4-03a – Through investigating the nitrogen cycle and evaluating results from practical experiments, I can suggest a design for a fertiliser, taking account of its environmental impact. (Particularly the points associated with “Explores and explains the possible impact of the use of fertilisers, for example, algal blooms.”)
  • SCN 4-20a – I have researched new developments in science and can explain how their current or future applications might impact on modern life.

This resource includes pdf and editable versions of the following:

  • Lesson plans with slides for 5 lessons
    • Lesson 1: Food demand
    • Lesson 2: Fertilisers in food production
    • Lesson 3: Pesticides and the food chain
    • Lesson 4: Analysing the experiment results (food conversion efficiency and water footprint)
    • Lesson 5: Mealworms in comparison with livestock
  • Mealworm experiment instructions
  • Example risk assessment
  • Calculation worksheets (two levels of difficulty) for calculating food conversion efficiency and water footprint
  • Algal bloom exercise
  • Activity 1: food production problem solving (with marking guide)
  • Food production quiz (with marking guide)
  • Past paper questions (with marking guide)
  • Additional resources (academic papers for further information on the topic)
  • Feedback form for students

This resource is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license and has been made available on TES Connect which hosts a range of lesson materials for early years, primary, secondary, and special needs teaching.

Go to Food Production and Insects on TES to view and download this resource

Cover image Future food: insects (Krabi, Thailand 2015) by Paul Arps (Flickr) is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.