It’s spring and the season for bugs! We have a little guy in our class this year who is going to be over the moon about this unit. We call him the bug whisperer.
Come back next week to check out photos of our Fine Motor and Art shelves filled with buggy activities.
Our oh-so-very high-tech “bug catcher” has a permanent place on our science shelf. It comes in handy in the spring when the creepy crawlies start showing up in our room. If you’ve never used one of these, all you have to do when you spot a bug is gently place a cup over it. Then slide a stiff card underneath, capturing the bug. We then take a few moments to examine the bug before releasing it outside. The children are getting quite adept at using this little device.
We saved some of these cicada exoskeletons last season in a bug viewer. We’ll have these out on the shelves for a little while until our students start bringing new specimens from this spring.
Buggy Works on the Pre-Literacy Shelf
Matching and identifying pictures of spiders. The flip side of the cards have the names of the spiders. I love this little spider case!
I don’t remember where I picked up this idea, but I love this matching work with the miniature butterfly pictures. You can add a magnifying glass for a little more pizzaz, but I find the kids do just fine without it.
The second row on our pre-literacy shelf holds all our categorization and classification activities
Sorting insects and not-insects. We have objects out in our basket (easily found at most dollar or party stores) but you can use little picture cards too.
The sorting mat and the images are available as part of this set.
And a little stamping activity too…
Sorting Insects and Arachnids
There’s a little Venn diagram mat for writing down characteristics of insects vs arachnids. The mat and labels for sorting are also available in this set.
Sorting Moths and Butterflies
These butterfly and moth cards were made using google images.
A Venn diagram for comparing moths and butterflies with pre-printed labels. Also available in the Bugs! Literacy, Math and Science Bundle.
The bottom row on our pre-literacy shelf holds all our phonemic awareness activities. Along with a few other items, we have these fun Rhyming Riddles cards. These need to be done with a teacher. The student lines up the picture cards, and I read the card and wait for the child to identify the correct picture it goes with.
This is also part of the Bugs! Literacy, Math and Science Bundle available in my shop.
Phonetic Reading with a Buggy Twist
Initial sound clip cards. I embellished the clothespins with some shiny bug confetti. Part of the Bugs! Literacy, Math and Science Bundle.
Buzz!! A CVC words game. I’m sure there are variations of this around the web. Very simply, put the cards in a pile, students take turns drawing a card. If they can read it, they keep the card. If they draw a Buzz!! card, they return all their cards to the pile. The object of the game is to have the most cards. I’ve printed these out on pink card stock so they fit in nicely with the “pink series” of reading works. This is also part of the Bugs! Literacy, Math and Science Bundle.
I LOVE these reading cards! All the sentences are phonetically decodable (with a couple of puzzle (sight) words thrown in) and provide some factual information about various bugs. They provide a good jumping off point for further discussion and research. Read the cards and match to the pictures. You can use most of the same pictures found in the Rhyming Riddles cards. Part of the Bugs! Literacy, Math and Science Bundle.
A Little Bit of Bug Themed Math
Counting spiders on a web (not that you would ever find that many spiders on one web…)
I found a huge bag of insect and flower confetti at the local party store so we’ll be doing lots of counting and gluing! I think the bag will last us a couple of years…
Here’s a variation on the numbers and counters: counting ladybugs! I drew little ladybugs on red floral glass beads with a black sharpie.
Seriously love these ladybug counters!
Writing numbers to 100 with a ladybug theme. Laminate the printout to make a wipe-off board. Washable markers work really well for this.
Roll-A-Dot Ladybug Addition. Roll the die and place the counters on one wing of the ladybug. Roll again and place on the other wing. Write the addition equation. You can use a variety of objects for the dots: pom poms, raisins, black beans, paper circles. We have tamarind seeds left over from our study of Asia last year. This is also part of the Bugs! Literacy, Math and Science Bundle.
And MORE Bugs!
Gotta have a few nomenclature cards to go with this unit, right?!
I made these “Parts of a Grasshopper” cards back when I was doing my Montessori training well over a decade ago. They’re all hand drawn. Those were the days…
And now I can make cards like this with a little help from pixlr.com! These Parts of a Butterfly cards are included in the Bugs! Literacy, Math and Science Bundle.
I adapted these Parts of a Spider cards from the set available at Montessori Printshop.
We printed out these images of the life cycle of a Monarch butterfly from google images. I made the chart as a control of error and added it to the bugs! set. The life cycle models are fun to use with these cards.
The children can use these cards to examine the different kinds of caterpillars that grow into the various butterflies.
More Resources for Learning About Butterflies
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Seemi holds a Master's degree in education, and an AMS Early Childhood credential. She has twenty years of experience in Montessori as a teacher, school administrator, and school owner. She is the founder of TrilliumMontessori.org.