Insectivorous Plants


Students explore insectivorous plants and experience the reasons why an insect would be attracted to them. The students find they are attracted to the studentious insectivorous, the candy plant, for a firsthand experience of this fascinating relationship.

Materials Needed: insect eating plants (“studentious insectivorous”), hard candy, chocolate candy, magnifying glasses


  1. Docent takes students to the bog garden and prompts them to explore the different insect eating plants with magnifiers and identifies the different plants for the students.
  2. Docent encourages students to think about why plants would want to eat insects: what do humans get from the food they eat, do they think plants need nutrients in their diets, have any of the students heard their parents saying they were going to fertilize the yard or garden, etc. building a connection of why a plant would adapt this survival mechanism.
  3. As this investigation of connections takes place students are naturally drawn to the studentious insectivorous because it is covered in candy.
  4. Docent tries to keep the students away from the pretend plant for as long as possible to enforce the concept of how insectivorous plants lure their prey.
  5. The Docent then goes to investigate the studentious insectivorous and asks the students to help investigate, as the first student puts his/her hand down the fake plant the Docent curls the tentacles over the students and makes sounds of delicious feasting on the student that has fallen into the trap.
  6. Students are told that they may have one piece of hard candy and one piece of chocolate candy and told to give the candy wrappers to a teacher or Docent.

Alabama Course of Study for Science

This activity meets goals specified for grades:

  • K–#’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 14, 15, 19, 20, 21
  • 1st–#’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27
  • 2nd–#’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 20, 21, 23, 25, 26
  • 3rd–#’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 32, 37, 39
  • 4th–#’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 43, 46
  • 5th–#’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 30, 31, 39

Learning Outcomes

Students will make the connections of why plants would develop this type of adaptation to survive and how they are able to be successful.

Instrumental Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • identify several insect eating plants native to Alabama and the south.
  • discuss why plants would develop this adaptation.
  • experience the trap adapted by these plants to survive.