Monday, June 18, 2012

Bugs are superheroes!

We all know it: bugs intrigue children. Who didn’t have a baby food jar with air holes punched into the lid and a few crawlers collected from the backyard inside? Some of my preschoolers brought some last March and the children were delighted to be able to observe them.

And here, you can see how excited the children were when they discovered several ladybirds on the decking after winter!!

More than half of all living things in the world are insects – and they can be fascinating creatures. So these past few weeks, as we are talking about summer and what changes we see outside, we discussed about interesting facts about bugs. I presented the children with lots of photos I had downloaded from the internet and we talked about them during circle time:

  • Insects come from eggs. Baby insects are usually called larvae.

  • An insect has six legs and a jointed body: the head, thorax (middle body), and abdomen. A good example of this is the ant. 

  • Most winged insects have four wings (two pairs).

  • Their antennae detect odors, sound waves,  and are used for touch.

  • Some insects are useful as they produce foods we eat, pollinate plants, eat other insects which are harmful, and are a source of food for many animals.

  • Then I introduced the kids to 3 part cards as seen below.

    These cards are a fantastic tool and addition to any classroom. They are very interesting as they are a visual representation of what we were learning.

    Finally, I added a bit more fun to our studies by talking about extraordinary bugs doing extraordinary things. Did the hildren know that some spiders in South America could build webs longer than the preschool? Or that some of them can actually walk on water? Or did they know that a cockroach could live a full week without a head. I explained that ants were extremely strong and could carry up to 20 times their own weight etc... Slowly, I came to my point: insect are super cool and have super powers.. like some of our super heroes.

    Spider Man
    Fly Man
    Ant Man

    The children were so interested to compare bugs with superheroes. I asked them at the end which super power they would like to have if they could and which bug they would like to be? One little girl in particular, said she would love to be a butterfly and her superpower would be to throw rainbow colours from her wings to kill the baddies!!! What a great imagination!! Boys felt closer to spider man but some of them wanted extra power (like the ones the  Power Rangers have!!).

    Then it was time for arts and crafts.. I had gathered lots of pebbles at the beach. The children icked one each and painted it all in red. Twice.

    So you can imagine how much patience was required for this project!! It took 2 days for the 2 coats of aint to be applied and to dry properly. I painted the head in black and traced the wings.

    The children chose to paint blue and green dots on the back of their butterfly to make it more interested!! Once it was dried, I varnish them. We added the goggly eyes and voila!! They were all so proud!

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