In between our insect books (both fiction and non-fiction, of course!) we sang a song about insect body parts: Head, Thorax, Abdomen, and labeled a large diagram with the parts mentioned in the song. Fun! We saw pictures - including a life size drawing - of one of the biggest insects to ever live on earth, the meganeura. Meganeura looked like a dragonfly, but it was up to 36 inches from wing tip to wing tip! While the adults in the room seemed to all be grateful it is extinct (it lived 300 million years ago), we had the children graph whether or not they would like to meet one, and they overwhelmingly said yes!
We also had a live ladybug visit us, along with a nice supply of aphids for it to eat. (Unfortunately they all came from my oleander bush, which is yellow with aphids in some places.) I need all the ladybug help I can get in my garden!
We also had ladybug dough play, with black beans to make spots. We revisited a word we worked on last week, symmetry, and enjoyed the feeling of mushy dough and hard, slick beans.
The most popular use of the plastic insects was the dirt sensory bins - with tall, tall grass, just like in Denise Flemings' book. We set 5 of these sensory bins up on the patio outside our community room, so our families could enjoy the spring sunshine along with the bugs and dirt.
While enjoying the sensory play bins outside, some of the children helped me to look on the day lilies for "evidence" of bugs. We found some! The children told me they think these petals were chewed by caterpillars, probably very hungry caterpillars!
Finally, since we did read In The Tall, Tall Grass, we followed it up with making our own tall, tall grass, an idea I saw here. The children glued on words, wrote their names, fringe cut the paper to make "grass", and decorated it with brightly colored insects.
Next week we'll learn about another kind of animal that is extinct - and much bigger than the insects. Can you guess what it is? Come back next week to see what we learn!