Monday, August 10, 2009

Bugs & Creepy Crawlies: Part 1

We recently had a Bug Presentation from Bugs Ed with our Homeschool Network. B7 and K5 were truly 'bitten by the bug' with this one. We have spent the entire week doing all things 'buggy'.

This has truly been natural learning at its best! I can finally see now that relaxing and being much more eclectic with our homeschool approach is really working. They have both shown more interest in this past week than they have in a long time. That's not to say that I am throwing our regular 'school work'out the door, I don't think I could ever let go that much. But not being tied to a curriculum allows these bursts of spontaneity and I don't feel the pressure that we are getting behind in other scheduled work. But I digress....back to Bugs!

After the Bug Presentation we sat down and went through the take home pack that everyone received. It inlcuded a few bits and pieces, info about insects, stickers, an activity booklet, mini magnifying glass and a real live stick insect egg.

This take home pack and more importantly the live insect eggs was really what sparked the interest for more learning at home. This is also one of the first presentations/workshops that we have attended where the children have received a take home pack. Certainly makes a difference I think.

We started by getting out our Greater Brisbane Field Guide to Wildlife looking up some of the stick insects. It was very exciting to see actual images of the exact Insect Eggs we received. A Goliath Stick Insect and a Children's Stick Insect.

We watched Insect Documentaries on Ants, Spiders and Beetles.

We read Insects Do The Strangest Things.

This book was full of short narratives about the following insects:
  • The Dragonfly
  • The Walking Stick
  • The Ant
  • The Grasshopper
  • The Ladybug Beetle
  • The Termite
  • The Praying Mantis
  • The Whiligig Beetle
  • The Water Strider
  • The Caddisfly
  • The Water Boatman
  • The Backswimmer
  • The Mosquito
  • The Housefly
  • The Monarch Butterfly
  • The Silkworm
  • The Flea
  • The Honeybee
  • The Firefly

We read the story of the Crawly, Crawly Caterpillar which shows the life cycle of the butterfly in picture book style.

We used the book "Insects" to look up information when questions arose.

We subscribed to Real Life Bugs through the newsagent awhile back so we have a wonderful (and still growing) collection of bugs set in resin.

We spent quite a bit of time looking more closely at these and comparing the different features of the bugs.

We read the story Collecting Bugs, which is about two children that go to the nursery to buy their mother a plant for her birthday and they bring home a couple of extra surprises on that plant. This inspires them to learn more about bugs and the story follows their adventures.

We pulled our old fish tank out of the shed, gave it a wash, turned it on its side and prepared it for our Stick insects that we hope will be hatching some time in the next few weeks.
Both of the kids couldn't wait to give their eggs a real home! We just need to get some mesh to cover the front so they aren't allowed to hatch before we get some.

We made entires into our Nature Journals. K5 wasn't really into the exercise that day but B7 made several entries. Even I made one in mine!

We made a pipe cleaner spiders web, that was so easy to do and looks great.

We made egg carton bugs, insects and creepy crawlies for our diorama's.

We made Sun Catcher Butterflies, with clear contact, tissue paper and pipe cleaners.

B7's diorama, he is still working on this so I will come back with a finished photo

K5's diorama, again a work in progress.

We set up a small display of all of our bug things, books and activities in the basket and the diorama's make the display look really cool.
Some other things we did that I don't have photo's for:
  • Spent quite a bit of time on Ants, comparing the types, their sizes and which ones we could find in our back yard.
  • We used the internet to look up the difference between a chrysalis and a cocoon. We found some gorgeous photo's and hope to complete a notebook page using some of them.
  • We've spent quite a bit of time in the backyard looking for bugs of all kinds.

We still have some more 'buggy' things to do so I will be back with Part 2 of this post.


Michelle said...

What a wonderful lesson you had! I love all of the hands on projects you did! That was a great idea to turn the tank over - we got rid of our and forgot to send the tank cover - it would have worked perfect for what you are doing! (Maybe I should have hung on to it!). I would really like to do some bug activities with my LO as my older boys are studying insects right now! Looks like fun!

Kylie said...

Thanks Michelle, we have had fun. And we nearly threw the tank out but decided to hang on to it. They do have so many uses when you think about it. :)

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