Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Lady Bug Art and Finding Dozens of Caterpillars

Our insect theme unit is coming along nicely. Yesterday we did an art project using the knowledge we've learned about insects. The kids made an outline of a ladybug and then we filled it in with torn paper. I made this a step-by-step directions activity so the kids didn't get lost or my messy blobs that don't show what we've learned. Take a peek at our project!
(Skip to the bottom to see the MASSIVE amount of caterpillars found outside our classroom!)

1) Draw the outline of the ladybug with 3 body sections. For sizing it was easier for kids to start with the large abdomen, then move on to the smaller thorax, head, antennae and legs. 
Draw: abdomen, thorax, and head
2) Tear up scraps
3) Spread glue all over the outline (within the lines)
4) Put colored scraps in each section

Some finished products with zero teacher assistance!

Now for the excitement of our day today! 

We are the 1st/2nd classroom, but there is a K-1 classroom that just so happens to be studying insects this month too. One of the teachers came to tell me they found a massive amount of caterpillars on a pole right outside our door.

I went to look and I've NEVER seen anything like it!! There were dozens of caterpillars in various stages of the life cycle all hanging out together on this one cement pole (nowhere near a plant!)!!!! A science lesson dream come true!
Two caterpillars and a chrysalis
Just SOME of the caterpillars on the pole. Look closely to see some cocoons are empty/hatched
This moth was on the pole too, so I predict it came out and was drying it's wings, but I could be wrong.

Two empty cocoons
We collected two empty chrysalis (no idea the plural on that one!) to observe and see what they looked like. I also gently plucked one off the pole so we can (hopefully) see it hatch soon! I also took a caterpillar and put it in our classroom so hopefully it will form a chrysalis for us. We did see one wiggling on the pole forming one today, which was pretty exciting!

Do you study life cycles in your class? Which insects do you use?

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