Friday, March 25, 2011

Bug Hotel

Today was fun, fun, fun!  Before you see the pictures and read our rundown, however, I should mention that there were no bugs harmed in the making of this post!  The only bug that we brought inside and kept in our insect viewer was found already dead near an anthill.  Now, with that being stated, let me give you today's fun bug facts and then we can look in on our day:

Bug Fact #1:  The average airspeed of the common housefly is 4.5 miles per hour.
Bug Fact #2:  The housefly 'hums' in the key of F.
Bug Fact #3:  The average human, in one lifetime, will eat 8 spiders while asleep.  (YUCK.)

Today's photos:

Making our pom-pom dragonfly ...
 Here he is, drying on his paper plate landing pad.  (Without a kit, this would be so easy to reconstruct with different-sized pom-poms, tacky glue, and felt.) 
 Before constructing our 'Bug Hotel,' we made it a sign.  Maggie drew the ant.  (As I stated in Tuesday's post, this is a great way to teach the characteristics of a bug.  She made three parts to his body (the head, thorax, and abdomen), and counted out his six legs, even if they are mostly on one side!)
 And then, we made the bugs' Continental breakfast for their stay at our hotel!  (This is so much better than so many Continental breakfasts I've had!)
 The materials for our 'Bug Hotel' ... a clean margarine tub (or yogurt container, etc.), a shovel, some rocks, a few delicious things to encourage some customers, and a flat cover.  And, of course, you can add a sign like we did!  :)
 First, we dug a hole deep enough so that when we added our margarine tub, it was level with the ground.
 Then, we added our 'Continental breakfast' to the tub ...
 After that, we added the rocks around the tub, to give some height to the ground, so that when the flat tray is added, our bug visitors won't have trouble getting in.  (We don't want unhappy customers!)  Here, Maggie is using her magnifying glass to inspect an early ant visitor.  :)
 After we added the tray to the top of the rocks, we placed a large rock on top of that (to keep our tray from blowing away or any larger animals from moving it), then used play dough to make a mound for our sign to stand up in.  Here, Maggie is placing her sign.  :)
 We are open for business!  (We'll look at our hotel again in the morning to see who checked in!)
 Ready for our bug hunt, Maggie first uses her magnifying glass to check on 'Little Fella,' the luna moth cocooning in our kitchen!  :)
 One of our first finds ... a roly poly (pillbug)!  (If you remember from our earlier post, though, a roly poly is NOT a bug.  They have fourteen legs, not six, and they are considered crustaceans!)
 We put the roly poly in our insect viewer to see him more closely.
 Out again ...
 And in ...
 And out!  (We then said 'goodbye' to him at the flowerbed.)  :)
 Another bug on a leaf!
 And, then, we found a dead bug near an ant bed.  Here, Maggie is putting him in her insect viewer.
The dead bug.
 She thought she was hot stuff with the viewer around her neck.  She told me, 'I'm a scientist robot.'  Ok, got it.  :)
 'Mommy, look!'
 Ah, yes, Maggie found two bugs mating.
 Another ant hole.
 Marching ants ...
 Maggie's sandwich at lunch!  :)
 Watching Emma's eggs hatch!  :)
Giving her 'Green-haired Porcupine,' now named, 'Akik,' a much-needed haircut!
 Looking good, Akik!  :)
 Maggie's drawing of the roly poly she found ... with 14 legs! 

Today, we:
Letters 'X' and 'Y':
1. We practiced writing big 'X' and little 'x,' both on paper and in the sugar tray.
2. We practiced writing big 'Y' and little 'y,' both on paper and in the sugar tray.
Bugs:
1. We read The Little Squeegy Bug by Bill Martin, Jr.
2. We read Diary of a Fly by Doreen Cronin.
3. We read Bzzz, Bzzz! Mosquitoes in Your Backyard by Nancy Loewen.
4. We read Crickwing by Janell Cannon.
5. We read Beetle McGrady Eats Bugs by Megan McDonald.
6. We read The Very Lonely Firefly by Eric Carle.
7. We made a pom-pom dragonfly out of a Martha Stewart craft kit.  (This was another Big Lots find at $2 for 4 bugs, or only 50 cents a piece!  We'll be making the other bugs out of the kit next week.)
8. We watched the 'The Rolie Polie' episode of our Sid the Science Kid: The Ruler of Thumb DVD, about using magnifying glasses to see the small world closer.  (From watching this, we learned that roly polies (pillbugs) have 14 legs!)
9. We got out our own magnifying glasses and our insect viewer and went on a bug hunt outdoors!  (We lifted rocks, stirred leaf piles, etc.)
10. We did the 'Bug Hotel' activity out of our Science Play book, page 18.
11. We drew pictures of the bugs we saw when we were on our bug hunt for our science notebook.
12. We watched our Bug's Life DVD.
13. We had a dragonfly sandwich at lunch.
14. We sang the 'Roly Poly' song that we sing every week at the library.
Spring:
1. We watched Emma's eggs hatching on the live link that I posted on Wednesday.
2. We gave 'Akik' (our 'Green-haired Porcupine') a much-needed haircut!

So, that wraps up the week, but I have decided to do Tuesday's 'Ladybugs and Other Beetles' curriculum this weekend (we will be in Atlanta next Friday and I don't want to be behind), so be prepared to see a weekend post.  As always, thank you for checking in!  :)

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