Sunday, May 1, 2011

How To Study Insects-Play With Them!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, my class became very interested in studying insects recently. Since we started to study them in early spring-very early spring-very early in a cold extremely late to arrive spring-we didn't have many subjects to study in their natural habitat outside.  Luckily, this has since changed as the bugs are alive and well and awake on our playground-but that is another post.

However, when I was trying to think about what to do to answer some of their questions about insects, I remembered feeding our pet lizard, Clarence, live crickets.  She hadn't had this treat in awhile as it isn't as convenient to get live crickets and keep them alive while she eats only a few a week.  This gave me the idea to pick some up for her at the pet store.  Before she would get her treat, we would get to study some live insects.

The children were thrilled!  We watched them for awhile in their container walking around. Then I separated them and put a couple in smaller containers.  The children then observed them in pairs and did some scientific drawings while telling their observations to the adults who recorded their thoughts.

After sharing our discoveries, we talked about how they weren't jumping and why.  This of course led to the fact that they needed more room to jump, so we let some out.  And jump they did!  On us, around us, and away from us.

The children were wonderful with them.  They held the crickets gently, watched them, let them walk on their arms and legs and shirts and made terrific observations.

Luckily the crickets even sang for us.

This is the kind of learning that I love-its real, its fun and it will be remembered.

1 comment:

  1. Dana-
    I love this post! It is so much more meaningful to children when they can have first hand, hands on interaction with what they are learning about! We have yet to enter the insect season around here, and recently have been observing baby chicks and looking for frogs (I think it is too early for the frogs, but it is fun to look.) I anticipate another summer filled with a lot of life investigation!