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