Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Garden Mural Project, Lesson 2: Insects, Bees

This lesson should last for two weeks.

Day 1: What insects live in a particular location?
Make a can trap to capture the insects of a particular location, such as a part of your backyard. 
Punch holes in the bottom of an empty, clean can. This will make sure that the can does not fill up with water if it rains. Dig a can-sized hole in the location of your choice and place the can in the hole so that its top is at ground level. Put some food for the insects in the can, such as fruit or meat. Cover the top of the can with a board, and put rocks around the edges of the board to life it a few inches from the ground. Check the can regularly and identify the insects that come to your can. Have your student count the number of each type of insect and record all of this in his science journal.
Day 2: Learn about the parts of an insect. 
Lead the student to identify the three body segments common to all insects: head, thorax and abdomen. Discuss how most adult insects have wings. 
Have your student make some aphids out of construction paper and put them on the leaves of the flowers he has made. 
Study the different mouthparts of insects by looking at pictures of insects in books.

Day 3: Insect Symmetry
Have your student make a paper adult butterfly. Fold a piece of construction paper in half. Open the paper and lay it flat on the table. Cut out a butterfly shape. Have student paint details of the butterfly on one side and fold the paper over again. When the butterfly is completed, both sides of the butterfly are exactly the same. They are symmetrical, mirror images of each other. Discuss the concept of symmetry.
Day 4: Nature Study
For this week's nature walk, encourage your child to look for insects. Take an insect field guide with you on a nature walk. Help the student look for and identify insects that you find. What physical characteristics do all insects have in common? Have the student draw a picture of the insect with every feature that makes an insect and insect. Allow the student to refer to the field guide to make an accurate drawing of the insect. Encourage the student to add the natural environment in which the insect was observed. Write any of the student's comments on the page. 

Day 5: Compound Eyes and Nature Walk
Many adult insects have compound eyes. Compound eyes are made up of thousands of tiny separate lenses that work together to complete a picture. Notice the eyes in the insects you find and record on your nature walks.

Day 6: Exoskeletons
All insects have a tough, shell-like outer covering called an exoskeleton. As an insect grows, it sheds or molts one hard shell that is replaced by another. Point this out for observation on your next nature walk.

Day 7: The Beehive
Cut out seven circles, nine squares and seven hexagonal shapes out of yellow construction paper. Allow the student to explore which cell shape is the most efficient building block for a beehive. The cells should fit together without wasted space. Lead the student to the conclusion that the hexagon's six-sided shapes are best because they fit the bee's body shape and fit snugly together. Save these hexagons for a later project.

Day 8: Adding a Bee Hive to the Garden Mural
Have your student make a bee hive out of a paper bag for our mural. Cut a hole in the paper bag for the hive entrance. Glue egg cartons inside the bag for the honeycomb.

Day 9: Bee Stings and a Nature Walk
Talk about bee stings and what is the best behavior for a person near a bee. 
For your next nature walk, focus on your student drawing a sketch in his science journal of a bee or other insect in his science journal. If your student is having difficulty with this, you can follow along with the Outdoor Hour's Getting Started Challenges found at the Handbook of Nature Study blog. Challenge #3 helps guide the student to draw in his journal and #27 focuses on Bees.

Day 10: Paper Bees and Honeycomb
Make bees out of paper and add a Queen Bee and Worker Bees to the hive. Review the parts of insects and compare them to the aphids. Discuss how newly hatched bees work inside the hive first, keeping the hive warm, making wax and feeding the larvae. 
Look at real honeycomb from a jar and taste the honey.

1 comment:

  1. I like the plan for the bees and seeing how the hexagon is the best shape.


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