Lots of kids love bugs, so it's no surprise that bugs and insects are an ever-present theme for school projects. Adventurous kids love creepy-crawly bugs, and even shy and retiring kids can appreciate the quiet ladybug and the beautiful butterfly. Take inspiration from the natural world around you and invite the kids to participate in creating a bug-themed notice board for your classroom.
Caterpillars and Butterflies
Caterpillars and butterflies are a popular choice for teaching about the life cycle. Obtain caterpillars from a nursery or straight from the yard for the children to observe as they eat and then form a chrysalis, and finally emerge as butterflies. Sing caterpillar and butterfly songs with the children and do butterfly artwork with them. Read Eric Carle's "Very Hungry Caterpillar" to the kids.
Cover a notice board with blue background paper to simulate the sky. Give each child a piece of white construction paper and fold it in half the long way. Assist children in cutting out half of a butterfly shape, ensuring that each positioned his fold so that the butterfly will be whole when he unfolds his paper. Have the kids paint half of the butterfly and then close it up, creating symmetrical painting when they open the butterfly again. Add black pipe cleaner antennae and attach the butterflies to the board to "fly."
For this ladybug-themed activity, instruct students to fold a paper into thirds and label the thirds "K," "W" and "L." Under "K" they can list things they KNOW about ladybirds. Under "W" they should list things they WANT to learn about ladybirds, and under "L" they can write down things about ladybirds as they LEARN them.
A cute ladybug notice board will serve as a fun background for your lessons. Cover a notice board in a background colour of your choice. Make a large paper ladybug and attach her to the centre of the board. Cut letters spelling "Look Who's Been Spotted in Grade 2 (or whatever grade)" and mount these above the ladybug. Help children create ladybirds from construction paper, writing their names on their ladybirds, then fasten them around the big bug in the centre of the board.
Spiders fascinate many kids, with their eight legs and their beautifully intricate webs. Capitalise on that interest by teaching your students about them: write facts about spiders on a large paper web; go on a nature walk looking for spiderwebs; and make candy spiders with your students, using a marshmallow for the body and string liquorice for the legs.
Cover a notice board with a dark background colour. Cut the letters "Caught Up in Spider Facts" and mount them in the centre of the board. Give each student a piece of black construction paper and instruct them to spray their papers with hairspray, then take them along on the search for spider webs. When a child finds a web, he can place the paper on top of it and the hairspray should make it stick. Bring these papers with the webs back to school and attach them to the board. Students can then cut out small paper spiders and write a spider fact on each. Add these to the board as well.
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