Jodi shared her Insects Class plans (K-3rd) with us last week.
This week she is sharing her plans for upper elementary.
I taught another co-op class about insects for upper elementary children. We studied a different insect for each of the nine weeks we were in session. You can download the syllabus here.
We used the same schedule of insects each week as the younger class, but we read different books. We did some of the activities from the younger class as well as some different activities geared more toward the older age group.
I sent information home each week from Pet Bugs: A Kid’s Guide to Catching and Keeping Touchable Insects by Sally Kneidel so students could find the insects we studied and keep them for observation.
Here are some of the activities we completed throughout our study.
Introduction to Insects
After discussing the three body parts of an insect, we made a bug catcher made from 2 liter bottles. We cut the top half of the bottle off and place a piece of fruit into the bottle. Then turn the top half inward and push into the bottle. The bugs will go into the bottle for the fruit but will not be able to get back out.
We played a firefly game using small flashlights and a dark room to show the differences between a male and a female firefly’s sequence. I gave each of the kids sequence cards and they had to copy that sequence with their flashlight and find the person in the room with the same sequence.
We tried to find out how easy it is for a butterfly to break out of a chrysalis by wrapping each other up in toilet paper. We also talked about the differences between a butterfly and a moth by using a Venn Diagram.
I purchased six rubber grasshoppers from a science catalog for the kids to look at, measure and analyze during our study of grasshoppers. We determined the gender of the grasshopper by the presence of an ovipositor, looked at the different mouth parts, measured the length of the hind legs, and looked for the presence of spiracles.
During our ant week, we took different types of food outside as an “ant restaurant” and watched for ants to come dine with us. We used cheese, fruit, peanut butter and crackers to see if ants prefer a certain type of food.
When we studies bees, we melted beeswax that I purchased online and used small glass bowls to make beeswax candles. The students used the extra beeswax nuggets to mold with their hands to form a sculpture of their choice.
Disease Carrying Insects
For our last week, we discussed disease carrying insects – ticks that carry Lyme disease, mosquitoes that carry malaria and fleas that spread the Bubonic plaque in the 19th century. Since this subject was not a “fun class,” I made these kids fun snacks that resembled the different insects we had studied.
Both classes enjoyed a field trip together. We learned more about life cycles, classifying, and did some observation.