Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! Concepts and Goals
From their early years, little ones are often fascinated with things that creep and crawl. They have questions about everything, and the bugs they find in the park, on the sidewalk or flying around the porch light at night are great triggers for their curiosity. Easily found and examined, insects are a great way to introduce young children to many scientific concepts, including life cycles, animal metamorphosis, anatomy, and the scientific investigation process itself.
This library kit will introduce a child to a host of insects and similar creatures through stories, songs, informational books, games and crafts.
Book List: Bugs! Bugs! Bugs!
1. Brinckloe, Julie. 1985. Fireflies. New York: Aladdin.
One little boy chases fireflies on a magical summer night. Capturing them in a jar is like holding moonlight in his hands, but when the lights of his trapped fireflies begin to dim, the boy realizes he must make a choice.
2. Bunting, Eve. 1999. Butterfly House. New York: Scholastic.
A young girl saves a caterpillar from a hungry bird, and with her grandfather’s help, builds a butterfly house for it to live in. She watches as the caterpillar grows, changes, and finally becomes a chrysalis. All too soon, it hatches into a beautiful butterfly, and the girl must let it go. She never forgets the lovely butterfly though, and neither do the butterflies, who return every spring to fill her garden with beauty.
3. Cole, Joanna & Bruce Degen. 1996. The Magic School Bus: Inside a Beehive. New York: Scholastic.
Ms. Frizzle and her students are at it again as the Magic School Bus dwindles to the size of a honeybee. In classic School Bus style, this book combines fun storytelling and comic-bubble dialogue with captions, sidebars and “student notes” chock-full of information about honeybees, their habits, and their hives. The students must find their way past the guard bees, learn to make honeycomb, and help the hive fight off a marauding bear before they are finally able to return home.
4. Cronin, Doreen. 2007. Diary of a Fly. New York: Joanna Cotler Books.
The hilarious diary of a young fly and her adventures as she begins fly school. Fly learns all about flies and is convinced that she has the makings of a superhero. While her friends try to dissuade her, Fly must deal with ordinary troubles like the babysitter and her 327 brothers and sisters. Amazing facts and champion fly humor combine to make this a must-read for any youngster.
5. Donaldson, Julia. 2009. What the Ladybug Heard. New York: Henry Holt.
All the animals on the farm have their own way of communicating, except for the ladybug who never says a word. But the ladybug watches and hears the plotting of two criminals planning to steal the prize cow from the farm. Now the quiet ladybug must utter a few words to save the day. With her help, the farm animals hatch a hilarious plot to foil the thieves.
6. Foley, Cate. 2000. Find the Insect. New York: Children’s Press.
A hide-and-seek book with the champion hiders, insects, starring on each page. Readers look closely at many different-colored natural settings and try to spot the hidden insect. On the following page, the insect is identified, cut out of the page, and shown by itself.
7. Phillips, Dee. 2008. My First Book of Bugs & Spiders. Kent, Tennessee: Ticktock Media.
An early reader’s encyclopedia of insects. This book is arranged alphabetically by the bugs’ common names and contains big, labeled cutout photos of each species. Basic facts, diagrams, captions and a colorful sidebar of each animal’s life cycle make this a great resource for young entomologists, while large, kid-friendly text keeps it from being overwhelming to newer readers.
8. Rabe, Tish. 1999. On Beyond Bugs: All About Insects. New York: Random House.
A Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library easy reader, this book follows in the humorous, rhyming footsteps of Dr. Seuss. Early readers will enjoy learning all about spittlebugs, ants, honeybees, and other familiar insects and practicing their new reading skills at the same time!
9. Shields, Carol Diggory. 2002. The Bugliest Bug. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Candlewick.
Dilly is an ordinary bug. Though she knows she could never be win the Bugliest Bug contest, she goes anyway to watch. Something about the judges doesn’t seem right to Dilly, and she soon discovers the truth: they are not bugs, but spiders who have faked the contest in order to capture and eat all the bugs. Now Dilly must lead the bugs in an attack against spiders to save everyone. Young and ordinary, she might be, but perhaps Dilly is a buglier bug than she thought.
10. Schwaeber, Barbie Heit. 2007. Alphabet of Insects. Norwalk, Connecticut: Trudy Corporation and the Smithsonian Institute. (Comes with music/audio CD)
An alphabetical walk through a myriad of unique and colorful bugs. Children can listen along to the Insect Alphabet Song, and then hear a narration of the book, which uses rhyme to identify and give simple facts about each bug. The back contains a glossary for advanced readers or caregivers with more interesting information about each insect.
11. Spinelli, Eileen. 2010. Buzz. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Buzz is a bumblebee who simply loves to fly. Every day, she flies to visit all her friends. Then one day, Buzz sees a newspaper and reads about a scientist who has discovered it is impossible for bumblebees to fly. Beset by doubt, Buzz can no longer get her wings to take her off the ground. But when a forest fire threatens her friend Owl’s life, Buzz must try to believe in the impossible again in order to save him.
12. Theodorou, Rod. 2007. Animal Babies: Insects. Chicago: Heinemann Library
A colorful, richly photographed introduction to the basic anatomy and life cycle of an insect. The book includes such topics as the characteristics of an insect, egg laying and hatching, the nymph/larval stage, insect camouflage, and changes to adulthood. The language is simple and the text is large for beginning readers, and each photograph is clearly labeled and captioned. The book also includes a glossary, bibliography, and index.
Web Sites about BUGS!
Ant Boy’s Bug World -- http://www.heatersworld.com/bugworld/
This site is a directory for kid-friendly Web sites classified by insect type: Ants, Bees, Butterflies, Roaches, Spiders, and Other bugs. Site links offer all kinds of games, coloring pages, information and even books online.
Children’s Butterfly Site -- http://www.kidsbutterfly.org/
Photo galleries, activities, frequently asked questions and much more are crammed into this butterfly site designed especially for younger children.
Enchanted Learning: Insect Page -- http://www.enchantedlearning.com/themes/insects.shtml
With something for all ages, this Web site covers it all from rhymes, games and crafts to printable books and information. For the younger students, the site also offers sequencing cards, activity books, and writing practice.
Orkin Kids & Teachers -- http://www.orkin.com/learningcenter/kids_and_teachers.aspx
From our favorite exterminators comes the Insect Safari, a kid-safe Web page full of activities, games and even a pest library where kids can learn all about their favorite bugs.
Bug and Insect Games -- http://www.primarygames.com/science/insects/games.htm
Butterfly Games -- http://www.primarygames.com/science/butterflies/games.htm
When bug-lovers aren’t outdoors, they’ll want to be online at this site overflowing with arcade-style bug, insect, and butterfly games. Work jigsaw puzzles, dodge crows, play matching games and more.
Yupis Insect Games -- http://en.yupis.org/insect-games/
A kid-friendly site full of online insect-themed games. Help the ants get their eggs safely to their new home, destroy the giant insects attacking Planet Earth, or save your colony’s hive from destruction.
Activity: Excellent Exoskeletons
Taken from Insectigations by Cindy Blobaum (Chicago: Independent Publishers’ Group, 2005.)
Mini spray bottle with water
Mini spray bottle with dyed water
4 toilet paper tubes
You will need:
Egg (Get permission first!)
Question: How do exoskeletons help insects survive?
What did you learn?
An insect’s exoskeleton helps it keep from losing too much water and getting dehydrated (dried up).
An insect’s exoskeleton keeps moisture IN, but it also keeps unwanted things OUT (like bug spray)!
An insect’s exoskeleton helps protect the insect from bruises, bumps, cuts, or other injuries when it runs into things or gets into a fight.
Activity: Insect Feeding
Taken from MakeitWork: Insects by Andrew Haslam (Princeton: Two-Can, 1993).
10 pieces of cardboard “food” with Velcro
2 party blowers with Velcro
Question: How do insects eat?
What did you learn?
Many insects live on liquid. They drink all their meals! They poke holes in their food with a long tube called a proboscis. Then they suck the juice up through the tube. Using the party blower to pick up your food feels a little like a butterfly or a mosquito feels when they eat lunch.
Craft: Paper Plate Ladybug Puppet
Taken from Enchanted Learning’s “Paper Plate Ladybug Puppet Craft” (EnchantedLearning.com, 2010). Retrieved from http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/puppets/paperplateladybug/
Two paper plates
Two sheets of black construction paper
One black pipe cleaner
Two google eyes
You will need:
Red paint, markers, or crayons
Tape or a stapler
Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! Kit Checklist
Book and CD (1 book, 1 CD)
Web Site List
Activity and Craft Supplies (all returned unless indicated)
Supplies and Pricing: Bugs! Bugs! Bugs!
$12.23 Butterfly House
$13.42 The Magic School Bus: Inside a Beehive
$10.87 Diary of a Fly
$11.55 What the Ladybug Heard
$14.70 Find the Insect
$38.78 My First Book of Bugs & Spiders
$8.99 On Beyond Bugs: All About Insects
$12.74 The Bugliest Bug
$17.15 Animal Babies: Insects
$12.76 Alphabet of Insects
(Note: Pricing does not reflect library discounts)
Activity and Craft Supplies
$1.49 (2) Miniature Spray Bottles
$0.00 Toilet paper tubes (have library staff save, ask for donations)
$0.50 Poster board for cardboard food cutouts, laminate
$10.50 Adhesive Velcro loops for food/25-yard roll
$10.50 Adhesive Velcro hook for party blowers/25-yard roll *CONSUMABLE*
$.99/8 Party Blowers *CONSUMABLE*
$1.50/50 Paper plates *CONSUMABLE*
$2.00 Food coloring 4-pack *CONSUMABLE*
$3.99 Construction paper, 100 sheets *CONSUMABLE*
$2.99 Glue Stick, 6-pack *CONSUMABLE*
$2.00 100 pk Chenille stems *CONSUMABLE*
$2.00 144 pk googly eyes *CONSUMABLE*
Total starting cost $215.87