Today many of my TOS crew mates and I are kicking off a full week of blogging about topics that are near and dear to us. I have chosen to write posts about science activities that can be done with children in the summer time. While thinking about the summer, I imagine hot, lazy days filled with….insects! Summer is a wonderful time to really get up close and observe all of the insects that abound in these months. So, I hope that you will join me and spend a few minutes each day to marvel at the diversity of insect life in your backyard.
First up, the beetles. As you look around in your yard or the park (where ever you are) beetles shouldn’t be too difficult to find. Maybe you will spot some ladybugs or maybe you will be out at dusk looking for fireflies. Here in Florida we are being bowled over by the love bugs right now. Whatever you find, try to capture it (gently) so that you may take it inside for some observation. Need some help identifying your find? Go to this identification website for help.
Try to notice the 3 body parts that make up all insects: head, thorax (where the wings are attached, if there are wings), and the abdomen.
Count the legs. Hopefully your beetle still has all 6 legs!
Encourage your child to draw a picture of their beetle, noting the color, their antenna, and any other distinguishing feature. If you have captured a firefly: does it seem to flash in a regular pattern or not? If you have found a ladybug: what color is it and how many spots does it have?
Here are a few websites that may be helpful in your studies:
http://www.cirrusimage.com/beetles.htm – shows a wide variety of beetle images
http://animals.howstuffworks.com/insects/firefly-info.htm – more information on fireflies
I would love to hear about your insect finds! Please leave a quick comment letting me know what you found outside today.
Also, please check out what other topics my Crew mates are blogging about this week.