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Showing posts with label insects. Show all posts
Showing posts with label insects. Show all posts

Creepy Crawley Insect Ideas

Those creepy crawley insects! I love to bring insects into the classroom to help my students learn about the life cycles of different animals.

You can find ants outside  or you can find crickets at your local pet store. I have to say I absolutely love crickets for the purpose of showing students even at a young age of first grade the difference between a male and a female. A female has an ovipositor in between the circe at the back of their body.  This shows where the eggs are deposited from and the males are the only ones that make that sound to attract females. The other thing about crickets is to be able to show that some of our animals we are investigating are nocturnal! They have ways to protect themselves such as camouflage or big back legs to be able to jump. Give crickets a try!
        


You can even purchase butterfly larva or find some other insects around your yard to be able to bring in for students to see under hand lenses and the crème de la crème of insects are those fun little meal worms you can get for fishing! They are perfect for being able to let students see the three different changes from larva... to pupa... to adult. I even give each one of my students a vile so they can have a class pet to be able to watch and feed and even take for a walk on a plate! They love it when that darkling beetle is ready to be released, too! We have a fun release party for them so they can be in their natural habitat! And don't forget their is always the ant or bee to learn about! 

Not only can you bring in insects but it’s great to find tadpole eggs or watch the raptors on the Decorah eagle site. The best time to do this in in February when the eggs are in the nest. Right now in June the eaglets are almost the same size as the mother eagle! (note: the babies fell from the perch and are both at the raptor rescue center. ) 

It is also really great to be able to connect plant life cycles so that students can see a variety of ways that animals and plants go through their life cycle and metamorphosis to change and grow. A fast growing plant for kids to see are radishes or even peas! The good ole' bean is perfect as well! 

Are you needing to find a quick science lesson for your Littles how about pick up this insect pack and your sheets and activities are all set to go perfect for inside or outside. Find your Insect Pack HERE!
Insect Science Pack


Shop Science School Yard TPT store!
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Hate To Bug You: Insect Lessons for Littles!

Insects...those creepy...crawly animals that the kids just love! What a great time to add an insect unit when the trees are budding and the insects are coming out to play!

I just got meal worms in the mail. You know those worm like larva that go through a metamorphosis and turn into darkling beetles!

I need to bring some potatoes and a bit of corn meal so get them ready for my littles. Here are some quick and easy tips to add some insect fun into your lessons without having to spend a ton and yet let your kiddos have some fun!

Here are some great insect videos for you to use...I use the song first to let them see that insects aren't that icky!

Time for another video...this one that gives a lot of great facts!


Here are some affordable and fun ways to bring insects into your classroom!

1. Use crickets found at a pet shop along with dollar store plastic containers for a fun and easy insect exploration! Poke holes in the top with a pin...get some egg cartons in the container with some moist sponges and a bit of apple or orange and you are good to go! Females have the little stick like thing on the back called an ovipositor.

2. Find some lady bugs hanging around your house right after they wake up from a  long winter's nap...this is what happens in our sun room...get them in a cup with a lid and let the kiddos observe!

3. Mealworms can often be picked up at a pet shop and go through a metamorphosis from egg (which you don't see)...to larva...then pupa...and finally adult! Give each child a vile with  a mealworm, potato slice, and a bit of corn meal and each of them has an observable cycle!

4. Up for ordering painted ladies? There are many different venues for purchase. You will need a butterfly house once they turn into a chrysalis...then you can tape them to the top and wait to watch them come out as a butterfly. It is our highlight to have a release party!

5. Short of funds? Go outside and observe ants! Read a fun picture book about ants and then try to locate a worker ant, a guard ant, and if your lucky a nurse ant! Finding different colored ants is also fun!

Want a quick and easy pack to help you with the sheets you need to work with any of these insects and more? Find it in my insect pack! This is one of  my favorite packs because I just print and go with it!


 I won't bug you anymore...time to bug out of here! Thanks for letting me help you make science child's play!
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Three Easy Steps to make Heredity or Learned Behavior Connections

We are starting our plant unit shortly after break. It is my favorite time of year! Teaching my 400 students about the power of a garden is thrilling. Even better when I can use our FOSS Insect and Plants units,  as well as NGSS standards in my lessons is perfect!

How can you take NGSS standards and time it into a reading lesson, writing lesson, or even your own science curriculum can be easy with these simple steps.

STEP 1: Find NGSS standards that tie into your curriculum

I have to teach plants and insects so finding a way to teach this with an activity is key! I have to teach these concepts so they are in FOSS and in NGSS. This is the connection I am seeking! 

 For first grade a perfect connection can come with the Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits Standard for 1st grade. This sounds quite complicated, but here is a simple way to do that.

The standard states, "make observations to construct an evidence-based account that young plants and animals look like, but not exactly like,  their parents."


This strand is repeated again in 3rd grade with the same standard, however they add, "analyze and interpret data to provide evidence that plants and animals have traits inherited from parents and that variations of these traits exist in a group of similar organisms."

Step 2: Find an activity that will allow your students to see the standards in action or help them make a visual connection

Now, what to do. I came up with a simple lesson for you to tie a fun activity to both grade levels!

Let's make bugs! All you need is three body shapes...I chose triangles, circles, and hearts. I cut them out of colored paper...all the same color I might add. 

Next, make shapes for the top, you could also make wings, but we discuss how some insects have colorful exoskeletons. 

Now, it's time to cut out legs. I have the students get three and cut them in half after we discuss that insects have 6 legs.

Finally, I buy puff balls for the kids to pick as eyes.  

I get the kiddos into groups of two. I call each student one and two. One's go and get their bug parts: 1 body, 1 top piece, 3 legs to cut in half, and two eyes. Twos can now come up. To get them thinking differently, they can come up as a team picking if they want to be the same or different. You can even shake dice and evens mean you are the same and odds are you are different!

Once bugs are glued together, time to make the baby bug. Ones are the mother bug, and twos are the daddy bug. To set up the cards, print pieces that state mom's body, dad's body, new body. I have included the cards as a freebie below!!!

I then glue them on a colored paper. Each part is on a different color. They take turns picking the parts and going to the designated spot for the baby bug parts. 

The best part is that they are able to compare how their baby has inherited certain traits from the parents! Refer back to the NGSS standards to connect what they now know!

Step 3: Pull it all together with a vocabulary review or quiz

We made an anchor chart with the definitions and examples that we came up with. I also have cards made up that we put on the correct part of our chart. These sheets can be found in my Heredity Pack on TPT. 
The perfect pack for teaching NGSS Heredity Standards! HERE

I find that my students, in any grade that I teach, struggle with the Tier 3 words. New words need visuals and they need to be repeated, displayed, manipulated...the more exposure they get to the science terms the more retention you will see! So when you can add an art related project that can really show vocabulary words that time to NGSS standards...then you are set!

The NGSS standards that I focus on are:

1-LS- 3: Make observations to construct an evidence-based account that young plants and animals are like, but not exactly like their parents. 

3-LS3-1.  Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence that plants and animals have traits inherited from parents and that variation of these traits

Thanks for stopping by...You can find the cards and quiz freebie HERE!

This activity is a perfect way to tie in your insect unit with NGSS first and 3rd grade standards! The freebie can also be found in the large heredity pack HERE!

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Cha...Cha...Cha...Changes: Life Cycles Freebie

Each year, in our FOSS Insects Unit, we raise butterflies in our science classroom. It is always an amazingly wonderful experience for the students to watch the Painted Lady Larva transform from larva...to pupa...and then to an adult butterfly!
This lesson helps students learn about life cycles as they observe a metamorphosis, bringing them closer to nature and the common standards that we must cover during a given school year. We tie picture books with writing activities...add in some science inquiry...and maybe a little math graphing. Whoa-la...we have integration!

At a recent conference, many of the teachers received a life cycle of a mosquito and life cycle of a worm freebie. I heard several winners say, "what am I going to do with that?"
Let's Take A Look...

Big Ideas:
  • Organisms reproduce, develop, have predictable life cycles, and pass on traits to their offspring
  • Organisms and their environment are interconnected
  • Changes (whether caused by nature or by humans) may effect the other parts of a system. 
Essential Questions:
  • How can we use models to describe that organisms have unique and diverse life cycles, but all have in common birth, growth, reproduction, and death?
  • How can we analyze and interpret data to provide evidence that plants and animals have traits inherited from parents and that variations of these traits exist in groups of similar organisms?
  • How does one's environment influence these traits? 
  • How do an animals traits help them survive, find a mate, and reproduce?
Thinking About Outcomes:
  • By bringing in worms or mosquito larvae can students learn about the needs of living things?
  • By starting a worm bin and learning about composting, or by looking outside for examples of stagnant water, can students learn about an animals' environment and how they survive?
  • Can students learn to observe, measure, chart, graph, and record with drawings, writing, and interpreting data though a life cycles lessons?
  • Can students learn about interdependence between animals and plants through worms and mosquitoes? (any animal for that matter)
  • Can students learn about the hazards facing us or an animal? 
Whether it be NGSS or TEKS...state standards or your district's standards, life cycles are the core ideas of each and every standards based curriculum at one point in K-5.

One of the latest classes that I took this summer to help me develop as a science educator was using the book Inquire Within. Inquiry based science is student-centered in approach. Set out the plastic life cycle pieces and see where the inquiry takes you. Let students lead the discussion. Bring in samples and show them what you have. Start with an I wonder...see where the process takes you!

We are always seeking to motivate students what better way than to use life cycles tools and real animals to get them excited and enhance learning for all different learning styles. Life cycles may be our students first experience with biology! By having students identify different species students are able to see the process that living things take and learn to appreciate different animals. In the spring, we study insects. You can take a look at my Insect pack HERE.  I mean all different insects and their life cycles...crickets...darkling beetles...ladybugs...butterflies...bees...I even get pond water with tadpole eggs to compare different animals. (Lenard the Frog was just released this week after taking him home and watching him through his changes!) From there my friends...bring out some seeds and grow! Another spring board to watching a life cycle, but this time plants!



For those of you checking out my blog this pack is free here! Enjoy!


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Cricket Capers: Simple Science Lesson

It is insect time in first grade! Sorry...we can't find any outside right now, we still have snow, but that doesn't mean we can't invite some to join us. Introducing...crickets! This is a great way to compare non-fiction and fiction books about a topic. Here is a simple science activity for you...


What you will need:
1. Crickets (about 16 cents per cricket)
2. Containers from the Dollar Store with little holes poked on top for air
3. Sponges for water
4. Egg Cartons to climb on and hide under (they are nocturnal)
5. a potato or carrot for liquid and food

There are some great non-fiction stories out there...I use Myon or EPIC Books. The one we used is from MYON that our district purchases.

What to do:
1. Introduce insects...
2. Sing a fun song like "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes..."
Head, Thorax, Abdomen
Head, Thorax, Abdomen
2 Eyes, 2 antennas, and and exoskeleton
Head, Thorax, Abdomen

3. Discuss rules for working with live animals (no shaking, share the container, be respectful...)
4. Let them observe and write them down, draw what they see (I set up my sheet using Insects: In and Out of the Classroom to help. I also use a word bank on the board for their observation words)



5. I also play cricket sounds as they work...


6. We make a circle and share what we learned and observed. The students love being able to tell the difference between make and female. It is also fun to hear what they were able to see as they watched the containers.

7. We also watch the Very Quiet Cricket...

8. Finally, we wrap up with a symmetry activity where they draw the other half of the cricket and write at least three things they learned.  I use this as an assessment on what they know.
Going Buggy can be fun! With some help from our Cricket friends!

Symmetry and Sentences! Math and writing in one activity! 
If you need anything...you know you can bug me...email me or write a comment! I would love to hear from you!
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Outdoor Science Antics

This week, right after testing three out of my six grades that I teach... we are participating in stations. My second graders did potato stations...we planted potatoes and still have even more to plant! My third graders worked on echolocation stations...did we have fun playing Marco Polo style echolocation games as well as learning about animals that use echolocation through reading and watching some quick videos, but two of  my favorite activities this week are planting our pumpkins that the kinder "gardeners" planted from seed. Now their babies are growing up and need more space. Take a look my little pumpkins in the patch!
Working as a team, digging, and gently placing their plants in the hole, then making a hill to support the stem. I demonstrated and they did it all by themselves! One of my little pumpkins said, "It was the best day of her life!" One little pumpkin said, "Now, we are really kinder gardeners!"

I love the pride in their own pumpkin patch! This is why we grow a garden! We grow more than plants!
The great thing about stations is that I allow my students to self pace, as well as set a grade goal for how many stations that they can complete. It is very exciting to watch them work harder when their "grade" is at stake. We set it up as a scale of 4, 3, 2, 1 and covert it so they understand if they have advanced, proficient, basic, or minimal. It really does motivate them and the 4's get to the front of the line regardless of line order!

Here is an example of their ant station. We hit the mother lode! An ant colony with eggs, larva, and adults. We lifted the rock and wow whee did we watch them scurry to take the eggs and larva to safety! We then went back in to use the freebie I am including! Ant Antics Freebie is part of my  Insects In And Out of The Classroom Pack on TPT.

See the yellow clump...all eggs. Wish you could see them hustling. It was amazing to watch! What great observations that students were able to be part of!
Enjoy your antics whether you are out of school or finishing up the year!

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This Week In Science...

Every day I teach Kinders through fifth graders. I love it, but each and every hour you have to change gears with a different topic.Here are just a few things we did this week!  I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world right now. It is my happy place! What is your happy place in your job?

Our School Garden Tulips...learning how to be insects!

This week...in space...the moon! 
 Check out this great moon phase song!
We also used EPIC books again! Love the non-fiction book choices! The Moon Book is great! Just enough for 4th graders! Great pictures! Check out EPIC for teachers!
It's Epic! - Books for Kids
I love this picture! Look at my kinders looking closely at our school garden. They were looking for treasures!
Here is a FREEBIE for you!


Darkling beetles and drawing a picture of a live specimen.

Looking at the indoor habitat of the mealworm!

I love the new pack I made for myself first...but for all now that I see how it works! Next week, butterflies!



Here is my insect pack that I have been using! Sorry to bug you, but it is a fun pack! Check it out...Insects In and Out of the Classroom.  

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