Monday, April 16, 2018

Insect Activities in First Grade

Insects are always a fun theme in spring, so this week we learned all about insect life cycles and butterflies.

Day 1

We started out on the first day with general lesson on insects.  We learned the difference between a bug and an insect.  We watched a short video on YouTube to begin our lesson called All About Insects

Next, we talked about everything we learned about insects and worked together in interactive writing to create this chart. 

I passed out picture cards and we did an insect sorting activity in our pocket chart.  The students sorted pictures that were insects or not insects. 

After this the students went back to their seat to complete their own insect sorting sheet

Finally, the students worked in small groups to play a game called Bug Hunt.  They rolled the dice and moved around the board collecting insects for their bug net! They loved this!

Day 2

On our second day, we focused on butterflies.  We learned about the life cycle of the butterfly, what it eats, and where it lives.We began our lesson with a short video on YouTube that showed us how a caterpillar changes into a butterfly.  It was a great video that showed the entire process.  The kids were fascinated!

Afterwards, we worked together in interactive writing to complete this story map about butterflies. 

Next the children made their own butterfly life cycle with this lift the flap page.  Each wing lifts up to reveal the different parts of the life cycle. 

In the afternoon, we read Eric Carle's book The Very Hungry Caterpillar and watched a short video clip of the author telling about how he makes his illustrations for his book.  The students loved seeing the real author of one of our favorite books! 

Next, we decided to try to paint paper like Eric Carle.  I gave the students white paper and various textures to paint with like sponges, forks, sponge rollers, carpet squares, etc.  The students painted the paper and then we let it dry until the next day.

Day 3

On our third day, we learned about symmetry in butterflies.  We read the book Seeing Symmetry by Loreen Leedy and then we made an anchor chart about symmetrical objects. I cut shapes from our Ellison machine and the students had to glue them to the correct side of the chart. 

Next the students did an Insect Symmetry Sort, which I used as an assessment. 

They also practiced drawing symmetrical insects using these worksheets.  The gridlines helped them recreate the shape on the other side of the midline. 

Finally, we used our paper that we had painted and created symmetrical butterflies.  Each one turned out special and unique.  

Day 4

On our last day of the unit, students were able to build their own bug.  We reviewed everything that we had learned about bug and insects and then the children set to work creating their own bug.  They were able to choose from different heads, body styles, legs, arms, etc.  They could create any kind of silly bug.  

When they were finished, it was time to write about their bug in this layered book.  They had to give it a name, tell what it eats and where it lives.  They also had to give it a predator and tell an interesting fact about their bug.  The kids had a blast coming up with silly bugs that lived on different planets, magical forests, all over the place!

We had a great week learning all about bugs and insects.  If you would like to do any of these activities in your room, they are all available on my TPT store.  It's time to get buggy!