Insects lesson
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Home Educaton Program

Insects lesson

Grandma is giving you a lesson for Insects from Book (57). There is something I want parents to understand. While you are starting your children with a new year of lessons, the public schools are having to test their children to see what level of learning they are at during this time. That gives you one advantage.

The Unit on Insects is as follows:

                                    "Bub Bonanza by Mary Ellen Switzer

Introduction
Turn your (children) into excited young entomologists with this motivating array of insect activities. (Grandma has one book that invites children to belong to what they call a bug club, there is also in another what they call a plant club. At the end of this insect unit in book (57) are awards for insect collecting and doing. Take advantage of awards any time you can because kids really love them as much as they love little stickers.) They will be "buzzing" with excitement as they plan an insect trivia game, use "Bug-a-Rama Drama" script starters to create plays, and work on the Bug Bonanza activity page. (Another important activity for children to do is collect all kinds of bugs, spiders, butterflies, flies, ants, etc.; This time of year they are abundant because they have had all summer to develop. It is a great time to do some fishing and hunt for big worms after a rain.Save insects in plastic cover with netted covers or jars for a short time and then released.)

The Bug Jar Trivia Game
Send your (children) on an insect "trivia hunt" to help make a (family) trivia game. They may use encyclopedias and other reference books to research their information.
Divide your class into small teams and ask each group to write questions (with answers) on 3" x 5" cards on their assigned subject. Suggested categories include ants, butterflies, bees, crickets, grasshoppers, flies, and beetles. Have a brainstorming session with your (family and friends) to add more to the list.
Place the completed trivia question cards in a large glass jar labeled "The Bug Jar," and play a round or two during those extra minutes of the day.
To further extend this activity, trivia teams can write mini reports on their assigned insects to be presented to the (family and friends). Suggestions include making poster reports (with pictures and facts), creating a television game show or news program that features insects facts, and an imaginary interview with an entomologist.

Fabulous Fables
It's fable time! Read students some of Aesop's delightful fables that feature insect characters. Suggestions are "The Grasshopper and the Ant," "The Ant and the Dove," and "The Fox and the Cicada." Next have the children write and illustrate their own fables using insects as main characters.
Celebrate at the end of this project by having an "Aesop's Fable Party." Have your children read their fables to the class. Serve animal cookies, since so many of Aesop's characters were animals!

Mother Goose Fun
Read the familiar "Little Miss Muffet" Mother Goose rhyme to your (children). Ask the (children) to create a comic strip about the rhyme from the spider's point of view. (This is a good introductory unit to Mother Goose but Grandma usually likes to use it in the month of May because of everything starting with the letter M for May. However, Grandma likes to use the story of the Moose eating a cookie and the Mouse eating something else Grandma can't remember because of the mice at Christmas time, cookies for Halloween, forest stories in the fall because of the harvests and changing of the trees. They all seem to fit that way for Grandma thought of learning. You have to plan things comfortably for yourselves. If you did cover the Mother Goose rhymes in the spring or for last year, this definitely fills the position as a review and with the introduction of comics as well as the restart of the newspaper.)

Invention Fun
Be an inventor! Create a new state-of-the-art and farm. Label the parts of your new ant farm. Draw your design on another sheet of paper. Tell the world about your invention. Write an advertisement about the ant farm. (Use another insect if you wish.)

Let's Write a Story
Write a story about a bug. Here are some story starter ideas:
Hello, my name is Gary Grasshopper. My life as a grasshopper is very exciting! Let me tell you about one of my days...
One warm summer day, a curious ant named Andy decided to visit a picnic. It turned into an adventure that he would never forget! here's what happened...

Bug-a-Rama Drama
Delight your (children) with these motivating script-writing activities. ...give each ...a script starter. Ask each...to create a script, practice it, and then share their skits with (you and/or others).

Amazing Insects
Setting: television newsroom
Characters: Announcer and any number of reporters
Script-Starter: Announcer: "Welcome to our program Amazing Insects. Our reporters are here today with some interesting information on insects. Here's our first reporter with some great information." (Reporters 1, 2, 3, etc., give their reports on various insects.) (Puppets can be use or dolls in place of other reporters only your child or children are do the talking. )

The Unhappy Ladybug
Setting: grassy meadow
Characters: Laura Ladybug, Buzzy Bee, Cassie Cricket, Andy Ant, Bernie Butterfly, and any number of insect characters
Plot: Laura Ladybug sits sadly under a mushroom. It's her birthday today, and all her friends have forgotten. Write a script telling how her friends come to the rescue to make it a happy birthday she'll never forget.

The Case of the Missing Caterpillar
Setting: office of Sam E. Spider, Detective
Characters: Detective Sam E Spider, his helper Florence Fly, C. H. Caterpillar, Charlie Butterfly, and any number of insect suspects
Plot: Detective Sam E. Spider needs your help. C.H. Caterpillar has been missing for two days, and everyone is worried. Write a script telling what happened to C.H.

Fred E. Firefly Saves the Day
Setting: grassy field
Characters: Fred E. Firefly, Betty Butterfly, and any number of insect characters
Plot:One rainy day a Monarch butterfly named Betty got separated from her family. They searched all day with the help of their insect friends but couldn't find Betty anywhere. It was getting dark--what could they do now? Write a script about how Fred E. Firefly comes to their aid.

Insect Book Nook
Dorros, Arthur, Ant Cities, New York: Harper & Row, 1987
Johnson, Sylvia Water Insects. Minneapolis, Lerner Publications Co., 1989
Mound, Laurence. Insect Eyewitness Books, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1990
Parker, Nancy Winslow, and Wright, Joan Richards. Bugs. New York: Greenwillow Books, 1987.
Parker, Steve. Insects Eyewitness Explorers. New York: Dorling Kindersley, Inc., 1992.
Porter, Keith. Discovering Crickets and Grasshoppers. New York: The Bookwright Press, 1986.
---. Discovering Butterflies and Moths. New York: Gloucester Press, 1987.
Petty, Kate. Bees and Wasps. New York: Gloucester Press, 1987.
Pringle, Laurence. The Golden Book of Insects and Spiders. Racine, Wisconsin: Western Publishing Co., 1990.
Still, John. Amazing Beetles Eyewitness Juniors. New York: Alfred A. Knopt, 1991.
Watts, Barrie. Keeping Minibeasts: Ladybugs. New York: Franklin Watts, 1990.





                                                           Bug Bonanza Trivia

Attention all Junior entomologists! Grab your pencils and test your knowledge of the insect world.

_________________________1.   Name the three parts of an insect.

_________________________2.   How many legs does an insect have?

_________________________3.   The legs and wings are attached to what part of the insect?

_________________________4.   Beware! This insect "attacks"  wood.

_________________________5.   True or false. Insects live long lives.

_________________________6.   What do ladybugs like to eat?

_________________________7.    Name the insect that looks like a twig.

_________________________8.    How many legs does a spider have?

_________________________9.    Are insects cold-blooded animals?

________________________10.   What is the hard outer covering of an insect called?

________________________11.   What is the larva of a butterfly called?

________________________12.   Watch out! These bugs give off a bad odor when disturbed.

________________________13.   What insects are sometimes called "armored tanks" of the bug
                                                  world?
________________________14.   Ants live in groups called ____________________________.

________________________15.   True or False. There are over a million species of insects.

________________________16.   Name the heaviest insect.

________________________17.   Are insects vertebrates or invertebrates?

________________________18.   Bees make honey from _____________________________.

________________________19.   These beetles can shoot a hot liquid from their abdomens.

________________________20. What is the longest insect?







                                           Bug Bonanza Activity Sheet

Attention kids! Get your paper, pencils, and crayons ready and let's begin! We hope you enjoy the activities below__ all about insects.

  1. What is your favorite insect? Tell why.
  2. Draw and label the parts of an insect. Remember the three body parts--head, thorax, and abdomen. Then add six legs, antennae, and wings.
  3. Make a list of all the ways insects can help us.
  4. Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Your trip to the tropical rain forest was a big success! You have discovered a new insect. Write a newspaper article to tell the world about your discovery. Remember to include the five Ws: Who? What? Where? When? and Why? Think of a catchy headline for your story.
  5. Design a bookmark for your favorite insect book character.
  6. Make a list of all the insects you can think of. Make a game, such as a word scramble list or word search. You may also use words pertaining to insects, such as body parts.
  7. Be a reporter! Create a one-page newspaper called "The Grasshopper Gazette." Write news articles and stories about grasshoppers. Include pictures with your articles or stories. Use an encyclopedia or reference book to find out more about grasshoppers.
  8. Write a riddle about any insect. You should have at least three clues written in complete sentences. Try to stump a friend!
  9. How many words can you make using the letters in "praying mantis"?
  10. Be a butterfly detective. Look up information about butterflies in a reference book. Cut out a big shape and include at least one picture in your report.

Circle (and draw) an insect on this page for every activity you complete."




                                     "Butterflies by Florence Rives

Objective: This unit proposes to enlighten us about the beauty and worth of the butterfly by developing an increased appreciation and awareness of the part that butterflies play in the world.

  1. Why are butterflies called butterflies? What are some legends and theories about this?
  2. Describe a butterfly's wings.
  3. Why do you suppose many butterflies are spoken of as "winged flowers?"
  4. Explain what caterpillars are.
  5. How can you tell butterflies from moths?
  6. What are the body parts of a butterfly or any other true insect called?
  7. Write a short paragraph explaining how the butterfly uses its antennae.
  8. 8. What are butterfly wings made of?
  9. What are the purposes of the scents which the butterfly gives off?
  10. List the four stages of life through which the butterfly and the moth go. Draw a sketch of each stage.
  11. Explain what a compound eye is.
  12. List some of the enemies of butterflies. How are butterflies and caterpillars equipped to escape their enemies?
  13. What is molting? How many times does a caterpillar molt before it becomes an adult butterfly?
  14. How long do some butterflies live?
  15. About how many kinds or groups of butterflies are known by scientists?
  16. Describe the butterfly's proboscis. How does the butterfly use it? Write two sentences about it.
  17. Find out about camouflage, or protective coloration, of the butterfly and moth.
  18. What can you find out about the "eyespots" on a butterfly's wings? Why are they there? How do the eyespots help the butterfly?
  19. What do butterflies feed upon? What do caterpillars feed upon? Why do you suppose certain butterflies and caterpillars prefer to eat certain foods?
  20. How do butterflies help people?
  21. Define metamorphosis.
  22. Find out about the migration of certain butterflies. Why do they do this?
  23. How is a "brush-footed" butterfly different from other butterflies?
  24. What United States butterfly is the largest?
  25. If you wanted to have a butterfly haven in your yard, what are some of the plants you would grow?
  26. Research in depth one or two of the following. Write a paper to share with your classmates.
          a.   Tiger Swallowtail                                     b.   Monarch
          c.   Common Sulphur                                    d.   Painted Lady
          e.   Giant Swallowtail                                    f.    Viceroy
          g.   Red Admiral                                           h.   other
    27.  Why do you think some butterflies may be on the endangered list? Discuss.


Things to Do and Think About
  1. Use a large magnifying glass to examine caterpillars when you find them. Do the same for any chrysalis you find.
  2. Go to a museum where collections of butterflies are kept to see different kinds, body and wing markings, etc.
  3. Enjoy looking at many pictures of butterflies in books, magazines, filmstrips, or wherever you find them. By studying their pictures you will be more apt to identify them when you see the real ones. You might also carefully observe the caterpillar pictures in order to match or associate them with the butterflies they will become.
  4. Sketch a butterfly to show its body parts. Label each part.
  5. Use butterflies as motifs to design wallpaper, a bedspread, a bathroom curtain, etc. Select the colors to blend with those of the butterflies.
  6. Selma, Alabama, has been declared the butterfly capital of the state. This was achieved by the efforts of a group of garden clubs, beautification and tourism councils, and Girl and Boy Scouts. It was a conservation effort. In 1985 the Alabama Senate designated April 16 as the annual "Save the Butterfly Day" in Alabama. What do you suppose you might do to have your state and/or city declared a butterfly haven?
  7. Make a set of flashcards using pictures of butterflies. Write the names of butterflies on the back of each card. Study the pictures, and then have a flashcard contest with a (friend or parent).
  8. Sketch and color a desk-size butterfly on cardboard. Cut it into ten or twelve pieces to make a puzzle. See if your (friends or family) can put the puzzle together.
  9. Make a short crossword puzzle with words you have learned during your study of butterflies.
  10. As a (family), choose a favorite butterfly and form a (group) to make a butterfly flag for your (home) or (somewhere).
  11. Select a late spring or early summer month and make a butterfly calendar for that month. Decorate the date squares with colorful butterflies. Make the calendar big enough to be seen easily from the back of the room.
  12. Compile all of your accumulated pictures, clippings, sketches, notes, writings,etc. into a (family) booklet. Add drawings, stories, lists, puzzles, and poems."

References
Bring, Ruth Butterflies Are Beautiful. Minneapolis: Lerner, 1984.
Brouillette, Jeanne S. Butterflies. Chicago: Follett, 1961.
Fischer, Heiderose and Andreas Nagel. Life of the Butterfly, Minneapolis: Carolrhoda Books, Inc., 1987.
Mitchell, Robert T. and Herbert Zim. A Golden Guide to Butterflies and Moths. New York: Golden Press, 1964.
National Wildlife Federation. National Wildlife. Vienna, VA. Aug./Sept. 1988: pp. 4-11.
Porter, Keith. Discovering Butterflies and Moths. New York: The Bookwrite Press, 1986.
Sammis, Kathy. Butterflies. New York: MacMillan Co., 1965.

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