Entomologists at Work!

Junior Entomologist Project

We love doing projects in Kindergarten!  Through these high-interest projects, students are engaged in discovering answers to their focus questions, and meanwhile, we teach common core standards, science and health in an authentic, meaningful way! For our insect project, we decided to explore the insects in our community and explore their impact on our lives!  We did lots of research on live bees, ladybugs, ants and butterflies and taught our community about our findings at our Museum of Entomology opening.  Our Kinders made the best entomologists! Take a tour with us!

Bees

We typed our questions about bees and then did some research!  We compiled our information in a pictorial input chart and then role-played bees in their colonies.  We had a queen bee, worker bees, and drones!  The workers went from the flowers to the hive to help build, feed and do a “dance” to show the other bees where the nectar is.  We used bendy straws as proboscis’ and flower dixie cups to hold our nectar (apple juice).  Most importantly, we  worked as a team!

bee chart

Bees

Flowers

 

Ladybugs We also researched ladybugs, and realized that ladybug larvae and pupae were in our playground.  We got to observe and track the ladybug life cycle with our very own eyes!  We then wrote about the anatomy and behaviors of ladybugs.

ladybug chart

 

 

 

Ants Those black ants are all around, but our Kinders were most interested in the big red ants–the Harvester Ants!  We decided to purchase the gel ant habitat so we could really get a good look at them.  The habits we observed matched everything we had read about in books and we were starting to make connections between ant and bee behaviors!  We turned our room into a big ant habitat, took different ant roles and went to work!

ant chart

Ants

 

 

Butterflies When our caterpillars arrived in the mail, the Kinders were shocked that they didn’t look just like The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  They loved tracking the caterpillars’ growth each day and predicting (based on what they’ve read) when the caterpillars would experience metamorphosis.  We made a cooperative caterpillar and labeled its parts.  We then used our knowledge of symmetry to make painted butterflies.  We discussed the butterflies’ predators, and observed our own surroundings to determine the safest place to release our butterflies.

 

Egg

Caterpillar

Chrysalis

 

Insects After learning all about bees, ladybugs, ants and butterflies, we decided to use our understanding of insects to create our own insects.  Students then wrote about their insects and made books.  They designed their insects out of materials for the cover of the books.  This really showed me how much they had learned about insects and their impact on our world!   After all was said and done, we invited our parents and the community to our museum.  The students wore lab coats and had tags that said “Dr. Robinson.”  They had research folders that demonstrated all of their insect findings.  I was so proud of them and they were amazed by what they had learned.

Creative Insect

Metamorphosis

 

Paper Mache InsectsInsect Stand

entomologists 2

Do you learn about insects in your classroom.  I would love to hear about some of the things you do with you kiddos!

(2085)

4 Comments

  1. Grace

    Oh my! This unit is incredible! This is exactly the direction I am wanting my insect inquiry unit to go with my K-2nd grade multiage class (This will be my first time teaching such an age range! Eek!). I am in the planning stages for the unit and was thinking your unit would be the perfect springboard to differentiate for my first and second graders since there is so much inquiry and research involved. At the risk of sounding super needy, is there any chance you’d be willing to email with me about how you planned for and carried out this unit? I am grateful for any advice or resource you’re willing to offer (but I totally understand if you just don’t have the time with the new school year starting!) My email is gracetita13@gmail.com

    Thank you so much!

      • Grace

        Thank you so much! I am wondering about those gorgeous flower diagram/paintings they created. Could you tell me more about how they made those? Also, what all did you do to teach about pollination? Thank you so much!

        • Jen

          I actually made a post about those giant flowers: http://mamasplayground.com/spring-has-sprung/. Of all the art projects we did the flowers were my favorite–they brightened everything up!

          As far as the insect unit goes, our main objective was to research insects in our community and tell why they are important. We discovered through research that bees are important because of pollination. We acted out the different rolls of the bees in the hive, and the worker bees went to from flower to flower to pollinate. I had the kids wrap their legs in tape and pick up little pieces of pollen (you could use yellow pieces of paper, glitter, etc.) in their “pollen baskets.” Later on, I left out all the materials we used to act out the life of bees and the kids took it upon themselves to reenact it. This really helped my students understand some tricky academic language. Best part, they were having so much fun they didn’t even realize how much they were learning!

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