Animal Classification: Arthropods

Contributor: Samantha Penna. Lesson ID: 11364

Do you like bugs and spiders? Have you eaten crabs, shrimp, or lobster? Aren't butterflies pretty? They all have a lot in common, and you will learn about them and make an arthropod page!


Life Science

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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  • Do you know what an arthropod is?

Don't get crabby if you don't. Just get into this lesson!


Arthropods are everywhere!

Insects, spiders, crabs, shrimp, scorpions, and lobsters are a few examples of the many arthropods found worldwide.

Just like mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and birds, arthropods have certain characteristics that can identify them.

Read on to find out what these characteristics are!


Arthropods are similar to reptiles, amphibians, and fish.

They are cold-blooded, too! This means they have to get their body temperature up with warmth from the sun and cool in the shade.

This is why you don't see many insects crawling in the snow! They slow down when they get too cold.

You may notice that arthropods become much more active when their bodies are warm.

giant desert hairy scorpion

Arthropods have segmented bodies. This means their bodies are divided into different parts. Check out some of the arthropods below.

  • Do you see the different segments in their bodies?

Ants have three body segments. Spiders have two body segments.

ant and spider

Arthropods have multiple limbs. Spiders have eight legs, and insects have six legs. Millipedes can have hundreds of legs!

Check out all the legs on the millipede below.

orange millipede

All arthropods have an exoskeleton. This is the protective shell on the outside of its body. This shell keeps them safe.

Check out the crab below. Crabs have strong exoskeletons to protect them from predators.


Arthropods have one characteristic that sets them apart from mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, birds — they don't have a backbone! This means they are invertebrates!

blue lobster

Arthropods, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and birds share something. They lay eggs.

Arthropods lay eggs, which hatch into their young. Some arthropods lay many eggs, and some only lay a few.

Scorpions do not lay eggs. They carry live babies on their backs until they are fully developed.

spider eggs

Before you move on to the next section, say out loud something that makes arthropods different from every other type of animal you have learned about so far. Then, say one thing they have in common with other animals.

Great work!

Move on to the Got It? section.

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