Tag Archives: insects

East coast periodic cicadas—prepare children to comfortably view these interesting insects

When I’m introducing young children to a small live animal, such as a worm or a beetle, I may first offer them a chance to use a magnifier to look at a photograph of the animal, up close. From there we may progress to looking at the worm inside a small clear container (with some [...]

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Invertebrate diversity tally

Students at Bailey’s Elementary School for the Arts and Sciences are finding out how many different kinds of invertebrates live in their schoolyard. Using a poster showing the invertebrates that are common in a Northern Virginia pollinator garden to familiarize themselves with these small animals, second-graders went out into the garden to see what they [...]

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Mini Doc Cams Capture the World Up Close

Small document cameras, or mini doc cams, are making inroads into many classrooms due to their low cost, USB power, small size, and adaptability. It is the latter feature that makes them especially attractive to science teachers. One camera in particular is the IPEVO Point 2 View USB document camera. Since the camera connects to [...]

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Tablets as Microscopes

  The cameras on tablets work great for general picture taking, but they also can work as magnifiers and microscopes.   A good place to start is by placing additional lenses directly on the camera to see how it preforms. Low power loupes from 4x to 8x work for capturing detail in small objects, and [...]

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Spring activities and books to go with them

In our mid-Atlantic spring we can have temperatures in the 50s or in the 80s, rain or shine. The activities the children have been involved in center around the weather. We planted peas and radishes, measured their growth, examined the pea flowers, and are waiting for the harvest. The radishes may be too spicy for many [...]

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Learning about the butterfly life cycle with local butterflies

This year I have challenged myself to use only local animals in the classroom, for budget and ecological reasons. Luckily for me and my students, Cabbage White and Black Swallowtail butterflies go through their life cycle to adulthood in our area before the end of the school year and can easily be found on collard [...]

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All about animals

This is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a Madagascar hissing beetle.

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STEM: Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics

I wonder how teachers include the “E” in this acronym when designing or selecting class activities. And yet, the play that children do can be the foundation for future interest in engineering. This issue has several articles that describe how to capitalize on children’s curiosity and problem-solving abilities with engaging and purposeful activities, from race [...]

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Observations and data from nature

The word “data” for some people conjures up pages of numbers or a dreadful experience in statistics class. But get rid of the deer-in-the-headlights look and dig into lessons focused on forensics, snow, fruit flies, and Down syndrome. The protocols, rubrics, and examples can help you work with students in this critical inquiry process. I’ve [...]

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If you were a dinosaur …

Some children love pandas, some love dogs, but many more love dinosaurs. At times it seems young children feel dinosaurs are “more real”—more interesting, more important, more present in their minds—than modern animals. “More real” might be an exaggeration, but details about dinosaurs are verbalized more often than those about most modern animals. They can [...]

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