Sunday, August 21, 2005

Insects/Spiders Unit Study

Another preschool unit
study.  A lot of these ideas I got off of a very well done insect
unit study I found online.  I printed it off a few months ago - I
can't find the site again, either.  If I come across it, I'll post
it.  I hope I can find it - it was great - color coded and

Some tips from doing this one:  Don't
use Elmer's glue for the ladybug necklace.   It's too easy to
rip the felt out of the caps.  If you're going to do the paper
mache insects, it is a week long project.   Fun, but a long
project.  And you'll need to use sturdy glue to glue them
together.   I also used toothpicks in between each section to
hold it together better.  For the bingo cards I made, I made them
1 inch by 1 inch.  I should have done 2 inches square
instead.  And the puff paint spider web wasn't that
cool.   The puff paint bottle was hard for the kids to
squeeze, and when it was all was cool to touch since it was
dimensional, but the paper was flat.  I had been picturing the
paper a bit more dimensional along the folds, but it
wasn't.   So nothing spectacular there LOL.


I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly
Little Miss Muffet
Eric Carle insect books
Bugs and other insects / Bobbie Kalman & Tammy Everts J 595.7 K
Dangerous insects / Missy Allen, Michel Peissel J 595.7065 A
How insects work together / Jill Bailey J 595.7156 B
Insects / Anna Claybourne J 595.7 CLA
Insects, bugs, & art activities / Steve Parker & Polly Goodman J 595.7 PAR
Spiders, centipedes, and millipedes / Sally Morgan J 595.44 M
Spider's lunch : all about garden spiders / Joanna Cole J 595.44 C

Tarantula's Bananas
tarantulas and bananas.  Color, laminate and cut out.  Have
her match the number on each tarantula to the correct group of bananas.

Ladybug Game
Duplicate 5 copies of ladybugs, and number 1-15.  Color, laminate,
cut out.  Have her look at the number on the back of each ladybug,
and then place the correct number of black beans on the back of each

Give the kids each a magnifying glass and a
notebook.  Go outside/on a walk and mark down how many bugs they
find.  When we come back inside, make a graph of the kinds and
amounts of bugs they found.

Do the activity cards with Busy Bugs
Practice adding with rubber bugs.

Draw a map of our neighborhood.  Take a bug and figure out how to get from one place to another, following the roads.


Identify body parts of insects

Learn about metamorphosis

Learn about the types of insects:

garden helpers
edible insects

Fruit Flies
a ripe piece of fruit and place it in an open glass jar.  Put it
near an open window for a couple days.  Place a cap on the jar and
leave it in a warm area.  Watch what happens to the fruit. 
(In a few days, fruit flies should emerge - gag)

Listen to sounds of insects on the computer/by cd

Make curds and whey
- either the real way by making homemade yogurt, or heat 2 cups whole
milk until just boiling.  Remove from heat and add a tablespoon of
vinegar and stir.

Buzzy Bees
Fill a drinking cup with juice (nectar).  Make large paper flowers
and tape them to a drinking cup.  Put a straw in the glass (so it
comes out the center of the flower).  Drink the nectar from the
flower like a bee or butterfly would.

Ants on a Log
Fill a celery stick with peanut butter, and put raisins on top.

Bug Mountain Cake
Bake a dome cake and a rectangle cake.  Place dome cake on top of
the rectangle cake - frost with chocolate frosting.  Cover with
2-3 cups of crushed chocolate cookies.  Arrange rubber bugs on top
of cake, crawling down the mountain.

stamp with my insect rubber stamps

Make a spider web -
a piece of black paper in half lengthwise, widthwise, and
diaganolly.  Open up and lay flat.  Trace with white puff
paint over the fold lines.  Make a spiral circle over that with
the paint, let dry.

Ladybug necklace - Paint
backs of 2 bottle caps red.  Draw black dots on one of them. 
Glue a strip of black felt to the insides of both, to make a
hinge.  Glue a photo inside.  Put yarn around the hinge for a
necklace.  (this will make more sense when we make it and I post a

Paper Mache Insects ( dh and I think this is the coolest project....I have a feeling we're going to have a lot of big insects around the house LOL)

Blow up balloons and tape them together to make body shapes.  Tear
newspaper into strips about 2 inches wide, and dip them into a 50/50
flour and water mix.  Cover the balloons with the newspaper strips
- let dry for an hour or so inbetween layers.  The more layers,
the sturdier the insect.   When you are all done, let dry for
a couple of days.  Pop the balloon with a needle.  Paint the
insect, and attach pipe cleaners for antennae, and whatever else you
want for eyes, wings, etc...

Make a Tarantula
Cut out a spider body and attach pipe cleaner legs.  Make it lifesize - 10 inches across, legs extended.

Queen Wasp Chamber
Paint 9 toilet paper tubes brown, and glue in a pyramid shape. 
Glue one grain of rice in each tube.  Make a wasp out of yellow
clay - use pipe cleaners for legs and antennae.  Draw on details
with black marker.  Place wasp in one of the chambers.

Jumping Grasshopper
Cut out a 3 cup section of a cardboard egg carton.  Paint the
outside green.  Put a rubber ball in the middle cup, pushing a
straight pin through each side to hold it in.  Cut out legs and
wings from green construction paper, and glue to the sides and
top.  Add eyes. 

Ants go Marching 1x1 (I hate this song )
I Caught a Baby Bumble Bee
Listen to Flight of the Bumblebee

Bible Verses
Prov 6:6, 30:24, 25, 27  Exodus 8:20-32, 10:1-20, Joel 1:2-4 Psalms 105:31

Misc. Activities
Go on a scavenger hunt.  Give them a list of insects (use pictures or stickers for the list), and as they find them, mark them off.

Grasshopper Jump - make an obstacle course of things for them to jump over.

Relay Race - Have them race each other, doing things like the caterpillar/inchworm crawl, grasshopper hop, etc.

Make a 5x5 card, with images of insects or numbers on the
squares.  Either call out the name of an insect and she has to
find it and put a marker on it, or ask a question with a numerical
answer, and she has to find the number and put a marker on it.  Ex
- How many legs does an insect have?  Or have a pile with matching
pictures, and flip over the pile, one by one and find the matching
image - first with 5 in a row wins.


Insect Worksheets
Lots of Insect Coloring Sheets
Itsy Bitsy Spider craft ideas
Awesome Insect clip art

Books I used:
Crafts for Kids who are Wild about Insects - Kathy Ross


  1. I Like your blog! You are really enjoying your children. That's great. I found your blog after reading your comment at Agent Tim's Blog. I agree with you, "sinners sin" and they can'lt be expected to do otherwise until they have been saved. It is our job to witness to them, build relationships, like you were saying. God bless you!~Jen

  2. Your lessons look great; they sound like so much fun!!! : ) Too bad MI is too far a drive from CA, otherwise we'd probably invite ourselves over to your house. lol : ) My girls really enjoy bugs & they love The Old Lady who Swallowed The Fly book! : >

    Thanks, Sally, for your sweet comments on my blog. I've really enjoyed reading your entries. I can also be quite the procrastinator, often times. Yes, more than I'd care to admit. : ) lol

  3. the bug mountain cake. That sounds like something my boys would enjoy. We did insects briefly last year. The boys enjoyed going on bug hunts. I bought them bug kits from the dollar store and they carried them everywhere.


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Classical Chaos

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