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Home : 2002 : May : 18

    Insect and Bugs
    By Darci

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    I teach first grade and we are not only wrapping up the end of the school year, but the end of our caterpillar / insect unit.

    We order caterpillars and raise them to the butterfly stage and then have a huge Butterfly Release Day complete with songs, poems and fingerplays. We make a Caterpillar Data book in which we put dittos, information, and drawings in (a folder) so that the students have something to take home that is full of actual information.

    Our caterpillar habitats are 2-liter Pepsi (or any clear bottle)....we place a paper towel in the bottom, a stick, a straw with a small plastic ketchup cup (from a fast food restaurant) with a sponge in it......we mix sugar and water in a bottle and feed the butterflies by squirting the liquid through the straw into the cup on the sponge. There is netting over the top held in place with a rubber band. (You would have to choose your insects carefully, but these make great (and inexpensive) habitats that the children can easily see into!)

    We read Eric Carle's The Hungry Caterpillar. Then we colored a large caterpillar (for them to retell the story with). We cut them out and I attached a baggy to the back of their caterpillar. They colored the food that the caterpillar in the story had eaten (along with a small butterfly) and as I read the story, they placed the pieces in their caterpillar's stomach (the baggy). They loved it and it was an easy puppet!

    My puppet for this story is a green sock with eyes hot glued to the toe. I cut out and laminated the food that the caterpillar ate through and had a hole cut in the middle of each large enough for my hand to go through. As I told the story this year, I had a child place the sock on his hand. As I read, I placed the food on his hand and onto his arm so that it looked like the caterpillar had eaten it. At the end, I had a butterfly large enough to cover the food and the green sock was then the butterfly's head.

    This week we did a fun craft to go along with Eric Carle's book, The Grouchy Ladybug. (For each child), I took two black plated and turned them wrong-side out (the body). I stapled them together on two sides only (opposite of each other). I then one red plate and cut it in half (wings). The students cut out black dots and glued them on the wings (semetrically). When they were done, I took a SMALL paperpunch and punched through the top black plate (at an open end) and through both red wings....connected them with a brass fastener and then once out the socks (this time white with eyes on the toe). The students put the sock on, then placed their arm through the black plates......and they had a ladybug puppet.

    We also made ladybug headbands by drawing a circle on a piece of paper and then showing them step-by-step how to draw and color a simple ladybug. We stapled them onto a strip of paper that went around their head......and also paperpunched two holes at the top of the ladybug and ran a piece of pipe cleaner through both so that they became the antenna!

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