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Inquiring About Insects

Saturday, May 9, 2015

The kids decided they wanted to learn specifically about ladybugs, spiders, butterflies and bees. 

After finding out what they knew and wondered about insects, we learned what makes something an insect!  I set out some areas for them to look closer at insects and investigate!

One area allowed for them to look closer and show what they noticed using pastels, watercolors and sculpture materials. 

Most of them chose to create a sculpture in this area. I provided them with a variety of materials to create insects with!

They created plans for their sculptures and followed them. 

I created an area for them to observe real insects and make their thinking visible by recording what they could see, think, and wonder. 

Insect small world play was a big hit. They loved creating habitats and sorting the insects or making patterns with them. 

Once they knew what an insect was we learned all we could about ladybugs and organized our data by creating a web map.  They also learned about symmetry and created ladybugs to show symmetry. 

Next we learned about spiders and found out they were arachnids and very different than insects! We organized our learning by creating a tree map. 

We also learned about bees. They went from being afraid of them to appreciating how important they are!  So much of our produce depends on them! They noticed the hives were made up of hexagons so we made some by tracing our hexagon pattern block and wrote something new we learned about bees. 

Finally our caterpillars came in and we focused on butterflies! Our Look Closer table now focused solely on butterflies! 

They made their thinking visible in many ways as they observed our caterpillars!

Our marvelous art teacher provided us with clay so that we could create sculptures of butterflies. Those are still being fired so I don't have finished pictures yet.  They learned to scratch the surface and use clay/water mix to make the wings stick to the body. 

They documented in great detail the parts of a butterfly and labeled them. Their attention to detail amazes me!

After our butterflies emerged, they were getting into some heated debates as to what kind of butterflies they were.

Some thought monarch, some thought Painted Lady. We compared them to each using this picture. The one on top is one of our butterflies. 

They had to write what kind they thought it was and why they thought so. 

We came to the conclusion that they were Painted Ladies! We finally had to say goodbye and let them go. 

We had a lot of fun investigating insects! I wonder what will interest them next?

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