CURRICULUM BRIDGES: INSECTS


[MATH | LANGUAGE ARTS | SOCIAL STUDIES | VISUAL/PERFORMING ARTS | LITERATURE LINKS]



MATH:

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Grade Level: Beginning

DRAGONFLY WINGS: Dragonflies have 4 separate wings. The dragonfly beats its pairs of wings separately. The front ones rise and the rear ones fall. If there are 3 dragonflies how many wings are there altogether?

Grade Level: Beginning

ZIPPERS ON THE WINGS: Wasps have 2 wings that are held together by a zipper. If there are 8 wasps how many zippers are there in all? (A wasp rows it wings through the air with a figure eight motion).

Grade Level: Beginning

INSECTS IN 3 PARTS: The body of an insect is in 3 parts. The name of the 3 sections are the head, the thorax (or chest) and the abdomen. (Flight for the fly begins in the thorax part where the wings are connected). If there are 3 adult insects how many parts are there altogether?

Grade Level: Intermediate

A BEE'S FLIGHT: Most insects have thin wings. In order to get the lift they need, bees have to move their wings very fast. Bee's wings move forward, backward and up and down. Bees flap their wings over 100 times a second. If the bee is flying for 15 minutes, how many times will he have flapped his wings?

Grade Level: Intermediate

THE TINY MIDGE: This tiny insect beats its wings very fast as it flies. It can beat the wings up to 1000 cycles per second. If the midge is flying very fast for 20 minutes what is the total cycles that it beats its wings?

Grade Level: Intermediate

A SPECIAL FRIEND: Ladybugs are beetles that can fly. The colorful forewings that are colored and spotted are like a hard outer casing for protection. It is their hind wings that they use to fly with. If there are 600 ladybugs flying together and 6 children catch 367 how many ladybugs would still be flying?

Grade Level: Advanced

A FLIES LANDING: When landing, a fly will put its front legs up over its head. Then it grabs hold of the surface and flips its body upside down. If there are 787 flies landing how many legs will go up into the air?

Grade Level: Advanced

MONARCH BUTTERFLY: Monarch butterflies can migrate more than 2,000 miles yearly. Butterflies are wonderful aerial acrobatic fliers that a stunt flier would love to copy. But the distances they travel is what is truly amazing. They do this in search of warmth. If there are 25,000 butterflies migrating what is the total miles they travel as a group?

Grade Level: Advanced

GOOD FLIERS: Dragonflies have strong muscles that control the base of the wings. In flight, the wings look like a rapidly changing X shape. They can fly up to 35 miles per hour. A group of 4 dragonflies are flying for 6 days, 5 hours each day. How many miles total does the group fly?





LANGUAGE ARTS:

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Grade Level: Beginning

HONEYMAKERS: Read a story to the class about bees and how they make honey. As a class write a story about some worker bees who are making honey with the queen bee and drones. Ask the children to make-believe and add some humor to the story.

Grade Level: Beginning

MIGRATING BUTTERFLIES: Using the word "Butterfly" make up a poem about the butterflies that migrate. Explain to the children what migration is and together write the poem. Use each letter of the word "Butterfly" to start another line of the poem. Afterwards have the children copy the poem from the blackboard and draw and color a picture of a butterfly to go along with the poem.

Grade Level: Beginning

SUSAN'S SOUP: Together as a group write a story about Susan and how a moth flew into her soup. Make it a funny story and how one thing led to another after she discovered the moth in her soup.

Grade Level: Intermediate

A FIREFLY ADVENTURE: Have the class read about fireflies and their habits. Then pair the students up and ask each group to write a story about a firefly and the mischief he gets into during a 4th of July Picnic and Fireworks Display.

Grade Level: Intermediate

A DICTIONARY OF TERMS: Have the students check books out of the library on different types of flies. Ask them to read the material and then write a "Fun Dictionary of Terms" about the flying habits of flies. You can group the students together in small teams if you like to stimulate their thinking.

Grade Level: Intermediate

A SWIMMING MOTH: A very unusual moth swims through the water to catch its prey. Have the students write an adventure story about this moth and how he runs into a fish on his swim, how they become friends, and learn new things about themselves because of their "friendship".

Grade Level: Advanced

MIMICRY: One of the most unusual ways that certain butterflies and moths protect themselves is to mimic the form, color, smell or taste of a neighboring species. Have the students write a short story about a group of butterflies that are mimicing their neighboring species. Ask the students to make it a "Mystery Tale" with suspense, warning, and escape.

Grade Level: Advanced

POWERFUL FLYING INSECTS: The wings of these insects are beautifully adapted to aerodynamic flight. Have the students write a short story about one of these Flying Insects and how she makes it through a terrible storm. The insect wing is excellently constructed and is able to exert propulsion and lift while minimizing the drag.

Grade Level: Advanced

A GLOSSARY OF TERMS: Ask the class to make up a glossary of terms about flying insects including the following species: flies, bees, butterflies, and beetles. Tell the students that it should be limited to the very basics about these species. They can refer to books from the library on information about the species and you can divide the class into groups of 4 to stimulate their thinking.





SOCIAL STUDIES:

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Grade Level: Beginning

BUTTERFLY FARM: Locate a Butterfly Farm where you can take your class on a field trip. Read books about butterflies to the class before you go to the Farm. When returning to the classroom after the trip ask the children for their observations about the butterflies that they have seen. Together write a journal about the findings on the butterflies, their habitats, eating habits, etc.

Grade Level: Beginning

BEE HIVES: Do a study together on bee hives and how the different type of bees of the hive help to make the honey. Then write up the findings on the blackboard so that the children can copy the words in a booklet made from large lined paper. Ask the children to make a picture of a bee and a hive to put on as a cover.

Grade Level: Beginning

JUMPING FLEAS: Do a study together on fleas. Alot of children have either a cat or a dog or both. They will find this study interesting! Fleas are wingless, but when it jumps it is able to launch itself into space with almost 20 times the acceleration of an Apollo moon rocket. (At rest, a flea's rear legs are like coiled-up springs. These "springs" are set off by tiny elastic structures positioned above them making the flea shoot forward).

Grade Level: Intermediate

SAVE OUR HOMES: Have the students do a study on the rain forest and how this is affecting the homes of insects and butterflies. If the homes of the insects and butterflies are threatened, so are they. Have the class share their findings with one another with oral reports.

Grade Level: Intermediate

MONARCHS ON THE MOVE: Have the students do a study on the migrating habits of the monarch butterflies. The students can do this study with a partner and write up one report together. (When winter comes to the eastern and western coasts of North America, thousands of these butterflies head south to the warmth of California and Mexico. When the weather warms up in their first home they fly north again).

Grade Level: Intermediate

LIFE CYCLE OF A BUTTERFLY: Have the class pair up into groups of 3 students each. Assign each group the task of studying the life cycle of a butterfly. Have each group write down their findings and make a journal complete with pictures.

Grade Level: Advanced

CLUES TO THE PAST: Have the students do a study on amber and the insects that have been found in amber around the world. Amber is a yellowish brown, clear substance that was formed from the fossilized resin of ancient fir trees. Many insects are preserved in amber. Long ago, insects were trapped in the sticky resin which then hardened in the air.

Grade Level: Advanced

HAWAIIAN ISLANDS: In the Hawaiian Islands there are many species of insects that are found nowhere else on the earth. Have the class do a study on these species and share their findings.

Grade Level: Advanced

LARGE BLUE BUTTERFLIES: The large blue butterfly was discovered in Great Britain in 1795. Have the students do a study on this species of butterflies and how they are threatened today, where they live, and what their standing is in Great Britain?





VISUAL/PERFORMING ARTS:

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Grade Level: Beginning

HAND BUTTERFLIES: Have the children trace their two hands, one at a time next to each other. This is going to be the outline of a "new species" of butterflies. Have the children then color them, add patterns, antennas, and legs. Then have the children name their butterfly. Place them on a bulletin board for display.

Grade Level: Beginning

LADYBUG BOX: Ask each of the children to bring in a shoebox with the lid. They are going to make these boxes into a ladybug home for a day. Have the children color the outside of the boxes and put their name on the box. Go outside and find grass and leaves to put into the box. And then go on a ladybug hunt. When the children find a ladybug have them place it in their box. Don't have the children collect more than 2 ladybugs a piece. Have the children place the lid on the shoebox. (The lid should have holes in it so that the ladybug will have air). After 20 minutes ask the children to take the lid off and they may see their ladybug fly away. If not ask the children to gently release their ladybugs.

Grade Level: Beginning

THE BEE TALE: As a class write a tale about a bee and how it grows up in a bee hive. Ask the children to use facts and fancy to create the tale. Then make costumes together out of tissue paper and construction paper so that the children can act the tale out for their parents.

Grade Level: Intermediate

INSECT NET: Ask the students to bring in 2 lightweight coat hangers and thin electrician tape. You supply netting material for the nets. Have the students take one of the coat hangers and form it into a circle. Then have the students take a piece of netting and tape it securely around the circled coat hanger. Use thin electrician tape to secure the net to the coat hanger. Then take the second coat hanger and straighten it out and curve one end of it around the circled coat hanger for a handle. Take your class outside to catch flying insects.

Grade Level: Intermediate

INSECT MURAL: Ask each one of the students to choose a flying insect to draw, color and cut out. Also, ask the students to make trees, plants and scrubs for the insects to "land" on in their habitat. Try to get a large variety of insects so that you don't have alot of repetition. Afterwards have the students design a mural where the insects can be displayed. You can ask your librarian if your class can set up the mural in the library so that the rest of the school can enjoy it.

Grade Level: Intermediate

REMARKABLE RITUAL: Have the students write a play about the flight take-off of a moth. They can make it a funny play, and yet informative. The moth goes through a ritual before taking to the air. It beats its wings so rapidly that they blur like the propellers of an airplane. The students can perform their plays for younger children at their school.

Grade Level: Advanced

A CLAY BUTTERFLY: Using clay, have the students make a butterfly. After the clay butterflies dry, have the students paint them and use it as a paperweight. Challenge the students to create a mosaic of colors on their butterflies to 'mimic' the designs and colors of real butterflies.

Grade Level: Advanced

BOOKCOVER DESIGNS: Have each of the students bring in a large paper bag from the grocery store. Show them how to make a bookcover out of the unprinted side of the paper bag. (To make the bookcover, cut the paper bag down its side and cut off the bottom of the bag. Then place the book to be covered on the flat bag opened in the middle. Draw around the opened book with 2 inches extra on each side. Then fold down the sides to match the dimensions of the book). Then have the class each design and cover their bookcover with insects using marking pens. Have the students place the finished bookcovers on their books and enjoy!

Grade Level: Advanced

CHIRPING INSECTS: Many insects make "music" as they fly. Have the students make up a "symphony" of insect sounds and create their own musical rhapsody to perform for a younger class at school. This can be a very creative project and students will enjoy using tape recorders to mix the sounds to create interesting "music".





LITERATURE LINKS:

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The Butterfly Hunt
Author: Yoshi
Publisher: Massachusetts: Picture Book Studios, 1990
Grade Level: Preschool - 2
Synopsis:
This is a beautifully illustrated book about a boy who catches butterflies. He decides though that it is better to set the butterflies free and have happy memories of them flying free.

The Rose in My Garden
Author: Arnold Lobel
Publisher: New York: Greenwillow Books, 1984
Grade Level: Preschool - 2
Synopsis:
This is a rhyming line poem and each page introduces a new line. A surprise interaction among the garden flowers, insects and animals takes place at the end of the book.

How to Hide a Butterfly And Other Insects
Author: Ruth Heller
Publisher: New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1985
Grade Level: Preschool - 3
Synopsis:
This is a wonderful book written in rhyme about insects and how they can camouflage themselves. They can be right in front of you but you cannot see them. It is beautifully illustrated.

Bugs
Author: Nancy Parker and Joan Wright
Publisher: New York: Greenwillow Books, 1987
Grade Level: K - 2
Synopsis:
This is a fun book for children. With each page you will find a fun illustrated picture and text for the children and on the facing page the scientific information about the bug for the teacher's information. This is a unique format that is refreshing.

The Lamb And The Butterfly
Author: Arnold Sundgaard
Publisher: New York, Orchard Books, 1988
Grade Level: K- 3
Synopsis:
This is the story about a lamb and a butterfly who discuss their different ways of living. This is a great introduction to the concept of diversity and acceptance.

Butterfly and Caterpillar
Author: Barrie Watts
Publisher: Silver Burdett, 1989
Grade Level: K- 3
Synopsis:
This is a beautiful book with enlarged, color photographs that show the mating, egg laying, and a caterpillar hatching and growing into a butterfly.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Author: Eric Carle
Publisher: New York: Philomel Books, 1969
Grade Level: K - 3
Synopsis:
This is the wonderful story about a hungry caterpillar that eats it way through a variety of things until it forms a chrysalis.

The Grouchy Ladybug
Author: Eric Carle
Publisher: New York: Thomas Crowell, 1977
Grade Level: K - 4
Synopsis:
This is the story about a grouchy ladybug who refuses to share her food with any other ladybugs. She spends her day making the other animals mad at her. At the end of the day she is a much wiser ladybug who is willing to share with others.

Fireflies in the Night
Author: Judy Hawes
Publisher: New York: Harper Collins, 1991
Grade Level: K - 4
Synopsis:
This is the story about a young girl who visits her grandfather. He tells her all about fireflies. This is a fun book.

Where Butterflies Grow
Author: Joanne Ryder
Publisher: New York: Lodestar Books, 1989
Grade Level: K - 5
Synopsis:
This is a delightful book that describes what it might feel to change from a caterpillar into a butterfly. Many behaviors are described in the book about the butterfly from his point of view. It has unusually detailed drawings.

Insect Metamorphosis: From Egg To Adult
Author: Ron and Nancy Goor
Publisher: Atheneum, 1990
Grade Level: K - 6
Synopsis:
This is a superb book with colored photographs and text to introduce the metamorphosis of insects. There are a variety of intriguing examples.

Insects and Spiders
Consultant: Paul Hillyard
Publisher: New York: Dorling Kindersley
Grade Level: 2 - 5
Synopsis:
This is a delightful book on insects and spiders. The colored photographs and text are set up in such a way that a student will not want to put the book down.

Extinct Insects and Those in Danger of Extinction
Author: Philip Steele
Publisher: New York: Franklin Watts, 1991
Grade Level: 3 - 7
Synopsis:
This is a very interesting book about insects that are in danger of extinction or are extinct already. The colored photographs, illustrations, time chart, and map lend to the information this book has to offer. There is also a glossary at the end of the book.

Chirping Insects
Author: Sylvia A. Johnson
Publisher: Minneapolis: Lerner Publications Co., 1986
Grade Level: 5 - 8
Synopsis:
This is a wonderful text with colored photographs that describe the insects that make music and how they accomplish this feet of singing. It is an interesting approach to the study of insects.

Butterfly and Moth
Author: Paul Whalley
Publisher: New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1988
Grade Level: 5 - 8
Synopsis:
This is a detailed book with beautiful colored pictures, illustrations and text that thoroughly discuss butterflies and moths. There are antidotes that add interest to the book as you turn each new page. This is a must book for the student of butterflies and moths.

All Kinds of Bees
Author: Dorothy Shuttlesworth
Publisher: New York: Random House, 1967
Grade Level: 6 - 8
Synopsis:
This is a well written text about bees and the ways in which they live. You will learn all about bees. There are black and white illustrations to compliment the text.

Grasshoppers and Their Kin
Author: Ross E. Hutchins
Publisher: New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1972
Grade Level: 6 - 8
Synopsis:
This is a very interesting book about grasshoppers and their cousins - the crickets, katydids, mantises, walking-sticks, and cockroaches. Did you know that cockroaches were among the first insects to fly? There are black and white photographs throughout the book.




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