Time for insects!

 

Homeschool has been a bit overwhelming lately around here.  Our home is a tri-level and I have a little man who is crawling like a maniac and working on his walking skills.  His favorite past times are….crawling up the stairs and attempting to go down, emptying out all the drawers in the kitchen then taking off like a bandit, attempting to climb up onto the couch so that he can look out the window, eating dirt, poking the dogs’ eyes and also touching their teeth, loving the fact that he is just able to reach the piano keys and play then pulling the piano bench over on top of himself, and the list goes on and on.  This week he’s mastered waking up every hour to scream as his new teeth are coming in.  Needless to say, I am currently living in a busy season of mommyhood. Finally on Thursday I slept in his crib with him so I could get some sleep.  Yes, I actually did that, good thing I’m barely 5 foot 3!

coffee

 

Back to the point.  I have been blessed with 2 daughters who LOVE the outdoors and critters.  My oldest is especially interested in bugs.  (I’m not being sarcastic here, I truly find them a blessing, I wouldn’t know what to do with ladies that were disgusted by all things outside!) We have reached the point in our 1st grade Abeka curriculum for science that contains a unit on insects.  Knowing my children, I couldn’t only use the content contained in our book.  So we now find ourselves in the middle of a full blown unit on insects.  This was one of my favorite things to do as a Kindergarten teacher, follow the childrens’ interests and do somewhat of a project approach unit for as long as they wanted.  I loved integrating the theme into math, reading, science, writing, social studies, and all parts of our day.  It’s even better with homeschool as I can integrate the unit into our life when we are getting groceries, out on a walk, or just about anywhere!  This led me to Amazon to order a butterfly kit.  (You can order the same one here ) I knew my girls would be excited but had no idea how much!  Their excitement as our package arrived really made my week and made me so thankful that my family is able to explore education at home.  I’m planning on updating you on our unit but here is what we have done so far with insects!

 

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We are on week 2 of creating this map.  My 4 year old likes to made additions to it herself as you can see she wrote “SMALL”. 🙂 Each color represents a new date, blue sections contain the information we knew before beginning the unit.

I absolutely love the book “Ten Little Caterpillars” by Bill Martin Jr.  It’s a bit of an easier read than I usually would choose for first grade but the content is excellent.  The book shows several different butterflies and what they look like as caterpillars.  It also gives information on what they eat. And I just love how Lois Ehlert illustrates books and uses labels.

 

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The caterpillars we ordered should turn into painted lady butterflies.
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Containing the beast in his high chair!

And here it is the excitement! My girls love when we get packages delivered to our home and this is the one we had been waiting for.  A whole week is a long time when you are 4 and 6!  I loved that when it came the box had a tiny butterfly printed on it and a sticker letting us know we had to open it right away which was cool for the girls to read.

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The kit was well worth the money to me! It contained:

  • Spray bottle to fill with water
  • Live painted lady caterpillars
  • A hanging habitat for the live butterflies
  • An eyedropper to feed butterflies
  • 2 sugar packets
  • A brochure with a ton of info on our specific caterpillars/butterflies and directions
  • Coupon to order more butterflies
  • A worksheet on the life cycle of a butterfly

 

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My ladies got right to work on their page about the life cycle of a butterfly.  They worked together to color and I added the time frames for each stage. 

I have also been using a bug unit bundle from a blog I LOVE www.teachertothecore.blogspot.com

If you are interested in checking it out visit her site here.

I”ll try to add some updates as we move along into this unit, please share any ideas you have or activities you have used that focus on insects.  We are really enjoying the sunshine and what seems like an early spring around here. Perfect timing for this unit.  Have a fantastic weekend and thanks for reading!

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