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Level: K - 1

bugs for study

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Children can improve their understanding of the natural world and their classification skills by observing bugs.

What You Need

  • Books about insects and spiders—preferably with photographs
  • A magnifying glass

What to Do

  • With your child, search your home and neighborhood for bugs.
    Look for bugs:

    • around your front door
    • in cracks in the sidewalk
    • in gardens
    • at picnic areas
    • on lights
    • in corners of rooms

  • Using the guides, help your child to identify each type of bug that you find, such as ants, spiders, beetles, crickets, bees, flies, butterflies, mosquitoes, moths, wasps or ladybugs.

  • If you find ants, point out that ants work together as a community. Have her observe, for example, what an ant does when it finds a bit of food. Explain that when an ant finds food, it doesn't eat it on the spot. It runs back to the hill to "tell" the other ants. As it runs, it leaves a trail that the other ants can smell. These ants can then find the food by smelling their way along the trail.

  • Find out about spiders:

    • Why do spiders spin webs?
    • What are webs made of?
    • How many pairs of legs do they have?

  • Help your child to think of other ways that she might classify the bugs—for example, by color or by size or by whether they have wings or antennae.

Source: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Communications and Outreach, "Helping Your Child Learn Science," Washington, D.C., 2005

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