Family learning week 8 – Insects

ACTIVITIES

Activity 1: What is an insect?
Activity 2: What’s an Entomologist (KS2)?
Activity 3: Ladybird Dominoes
Activity 4: Moths and Butterflies – make an egg-shell caterpillar
Activity 5: Be the Queen (wasp)!
Activity 6: Get Creative – National Insect Week and ‘the Insect Isles’
Activity 7: James and the Giant Peach
Activity 8: What have I learnt?

WHAT IS AN INSECT?

Next week is National Insect Week. But what exactly do we mean when we say ‘insect’? Watch the above video made by the Royal Entomological Society, then try the quiz to see how much you remember.

Next, check out this creepy-crawly identification sheet from Born Free. Have a look at the 9 bugs and decide which ones are insects. Remember, insects ALWAYS have 6 legs.

After you’ve had a good look at the worksheet, load it onto a mobile phone or print it out, go to your local park and see how many of them you can find. If you find something that’s not on the list, take a photo.

When you get home, go to this Royal Entomological Society webpage and see if you can identify what sort of insect you found.

If you’re still not sure, you can ask an entomologist – an insect expert! Upload a photo and send them an email here, with a really detailed description of what you found. They’ll get back to you with an answer.

WHAT’S AN ENTOMOLOGIST (KS2)?

Watch the above video made by the Royal Entomological Society to find out exactly what an entomologist does.

Next, read this Ento-Club Comic Book and follow Natasha as she goes to four places around the world to look at insects. She even comes to Somerset!

Imagine that Natasha is now going to hunt for insects in your garden or local park, just like you did in Activity 1. Draw some boxes on a piece of paper and make a comic for the Ento-Club Comic Book to take Natasha on her next adventure in your local area. What insects will she find?

LADYBIRD DOMINOES

Materials: 6 pieces of paper, a felt-tip pen, a cup or mug to draw around.

If you have Facebook, you can follow this video tutorial created by the Story Craft Theatre.

Otherwise, follow this step-by-step guide to make a set of ladybird dominoes.

STEP 1

Fold your paper into 3, and then fold it in half.

STEP 2

Draw around a cup or a mug so that you have a circle.

STEP 3

Cut around the circle, cutting right through your folded sheet, so that you end up with 6 circles.

STEP 4

Draw a T on the circle. Draw some eyes and a mouth with a thin pen, and draw your dots with a thick pen. It’s easiest to start by drawing 1 dot on the left-hand side of all 6 ladybirds, and then 1,2,3,4,5,6 dots on the right hand side.

STEP 5

Repeat all the steps, but this time have 2 dots on the left-hand side, and 1,2,3,4,5,6 dots on the right-hand side.

STEP 6

Repeat all the steps again, but this time have 3 dots on the left- hand side, and 1,2,3,4,5,6 dots on the right-hand side, and so on.

STEP 7

Keep repeating the steps with all 6 pieces of paper until you have a full set of dominoes – 36 cards in total!

Once you have your set of dominoes, there are lots of games you can play. Dominoes are a great resource for helping children to get to grips with number bonds, as well as more advanced maths.
For KS1 children, start by counting the number of dots on one side, then on the other. For example, there might be 3 dots on one side and 4 on the other. Next count the total number of dots and write the sum on a piece of paper – 3 + 4 = 7. This website shows how dominoes can be used to help with counting and simple number bonds.

For higher level KS1 and KS2, go to this website to learn 6 fun, more advanced games that you can play with your new set!

MOTHS AND BUTTERFLIES – MAKE AN EGG-SHELL CATERPILLAR

Materials: egg shells, paint, play dough / blue tack / flour and water, cotton wool or toilet paper

Ever wondered how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly? Watch the above video to learn about the four stages of a butterfly’s lifecycle.

Once you’ve finished watching, draw a circle on a piece of paper. See if you can remember, and write down, what the four main stages of butterfly metamorphosis are and what happens at each stage. You can check what you’ve put on this Munching Caterpillar worksheet.

Now it’s time to make your own caterpillar. Go to this Natural History Museum webpage which will teach you how to make a cress caterpillar out of egg shells.

*If you don’t have all the supplies listed on the website, here are some ideas for substitutes*

If you don’t have play dough for the legs, you could mix flour and water together to make a dough, roll it into small balls and then bake them for 20 minutes in the oven to harden. Alternately, you could use blue tack or white tack.
If you don’t have cress or cress seeds, you could use spring onions or lettuce. Use the top half for cooking and

After you’ve made your egg-shell caterpillar, watch this video that will teach you how to tell the difference between a moth and a butterfly.

Decide whether the caterpillar you’ve made is going to become a moth or a butterfly. Ask yourself these questions:

  • How did you decide whether your caterpillar is going to become a moth or a butterfly?
  • How many times has your caterpillar moulted?
  • Where will your caterpillar make its cocoon?
  • Describe how your caterpillar will turn into a butterfly or moth?
  • What will it look like when it’s a pupa inside a cocoon?
  • Give your caterpillar a name. How do you spell it?
  • If your caterpillar came to life, how would it move? See how many describing words you can use!

Extension activity:

It is possible to collect caterpillars and keep them at home, in order to watch them go through the stages of metamorphosis. This can be a really interesting and fun activity, but you need to make sure that you have a big container for them with a breathable lid, and some soil and leaves for them to eat, so that the caterpillars don’t die. It’s also really important to release your butterflies as soon as they break out of their cocoon.
For a step by step guide to finding and looking after caterpillars responsibly, see this Munching Caterpillar worksheet.

BE THE QUEEN (WASP)!

First, go to this webpage from the American Natural History Museum and find out more about the wonderful world of wasps.

Now it’s time for you to try out being the Queen. Go to this website and read the important facts that will help you to make decisions and keep your wasp colony alive. It might be a good idea to take some notes of the most important information for each season, so that it can help you to make your decisions as you play the online game.

 

Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and press ‘play’. Read each question in the blue thought bubble on the left and click on the yellow hexagons on the right to make your choice. Remember to also look in the top-left corner to see what time of year it is. The aim is to build a wasp colony and keep it alive until ‘fall’ (which means Autumn in the USA).

Good luck!!

Extension activity:
Go to this Big Wasp Survey website.  Watch the video and try drawing a wasp! Unfortunately, the Big Wasp Survey isn’t happening this year, but look through the website to find out more about the project.

GET CREATIVE – NATIONAL INSECT WEEK AND ‘THE INSECT ISLES’

National Insect Week only happens every two years, but it is right around the corner – between the 22nd and 28th June, 2020! This year, the organisers want to create a massive artwork, made up of lots of smaller pictures done by YOU!

Insects are really important. Watch the video above from the Royal Entomological Society to find out why

Choose an insect that you want to focus on. Once you’ve chosen, ask these questions:

  • What kind of habitat does your insect live in?
  • What’s its place on the food web? Is it a predator (it eats other insects) or prey (other animals eat it)?
  • Is it a herbivore? (this means it eat plants)
  • Is it a scavenger? (like a cockroach)
  • Does it pollinate flowers? (like bees – see this BBC Bitesize webpage to learn more
  • Can you find it in the UK?

To find out more about your insect, and answer those questions, use DK Findout!   Just type the name of your insect species into the yellow ‘search this site’ box and it will give you lots of information.

 

Now it’s time to get creative… You can draw, paint, make a collage, make a model/sculpture, or even a cake! Then take a picture of your art and go to ‘add submission’ on this National Insect Week page to upload it. Make sure your picture doesn’t have any people in it – strictly insect art only.

JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH

Listen to a full reading of the entire book, James and the Giant Peach, brought to you by the Roald Dahl HQ and read by Taika Waititi and an array of celebrity guests.

Go to this website where you can find all of the episodes, each around 20 minutes long. Scroll to the bottom of the page to find the first one.

If you click where it says ‘find out more’ under each episode, you will find one or two fun, educational activities to try out at home, relating to that part of the story.
These are great resources with hours of fun and learning to be had.
Enjoy!

WHAT HAVE I LEARNT?

Draw 3 shapes (stars, circles, blobs) on a piece of paper. Write the following headings in each one for your child:
– Things I’ve learnt this week
– My favourite activity from this week and why
– What do I still want to find out?

Help your child to write something in each one, or let them fill them in and reflect on their learning.