This bug/insect unit is a vehicle for practicing literacy, math, and critical thinking skills rather than being a focused study on insects. This unit was designed to be an at-home preschool curriculum, although many of the activities could be adapted to be used in a kindergarten classroom.
Monday: Bug Cards (I introduced a variety of different bugs using one of the bingo cards used during Tuesday’s warm-up activity. I just cut apart a bingo board.) Bug cards were a great way to introduce new vocabulary to my kids, and to get them thinking about the bug knowledge they already had. We talked about what they knew of each insect/bug. (If you wanted to extend this, you could start a KWL chart with your kids.)
Tuesday: Bug Bingo! I loved this ready to go Bingo game from an awesome site for ESL resources! (Why make one if you can find one ready to go?) The kids had fun trying to figure out which bug was which, and our previous warm-up discussion really helped them!
Wednesday: Bug Hunt! Go on a walk through your neighborhood, local park, or even your backyard, and search high and low for bugs. See how many your child can identify.
Thursday: Play-dough Bugs – I let my kids try to create some of the bugs we’d been talking about out of playdough! They LOVED this activity, and didn’t realize how much learning they were putting into practice! (*Supermom tip- If it is nice, do the playdough outside! Less mess for you!)
Friday: Color Words Caterpillar – I love this worksheet (and I’m not a huge fan of worksheets!) This is a super-cute way for pre-k kids to learn their color words, and have fun doing it!
Read Alouds: (As I was using this unit to highlight/re-inforce literacy and math skills rather than truly teach about bugs, we opted to read a selection of fiction books about bugs and insects. There are a TON of great non-fiction books available however, if you choose to focus more of your teaching on the science of bugs and insects.)
Play The Ladybug Game – This is an adorable game that teaches number recognition, counting, and early addition/subtraction skills!
Play Busy Bug Count and Match Dominoes! This is a great domino game that adds in the fun of counting up bugs and insects!
Make bugs out of pattern blocks! If you don’t have a set of the plastic pattern blocks, you can print out your own paper pattern blocks HERE. If you’d like, you can also print out pre-made patterns for your child to follow. PreKinders offers a bee, caterpillar, and a butterfly. You can find them HERE.
Number Caterpillars – Have your child write out numbers on small colored circles of paper. (You can adjust this to your child’s abilities. Have younger children do 0-5, or have older children count by 5’s or 10’s…possibilities are endless!) Glue the circles together to form a number caterpillar!
Egg Carton Insects:
(photo by makeandtakes.com)
Very Hungry (Handy) Caterpillar
(photo by my bloggy friend Allison over at notimeforflashcards.com)
(photo by sheknows.com)
Bug Diaries – In the style of “Diary of a Worm” and “Diary of a Spider”, have your child write a story from the point of view of an insect. (This requires a lot of great critical thinking, and POV writing opportunities are one of my favorites…as a teacher and a mother!)
-UG words – See how many _ug words your child can come up with! Word families help boost reading!
My Pet Bug- Have your child make up a story about what it might be like to have a pet bug. What would he/she eat? Play with? Where would they live? What is their name? Do they have bug friends?
Start an observation journal. Young kids can simply draw pictures of bugs they see. Older children can write descriptions of bugs, and talk about what they notice while observing. Where can bugs be found? Do bugs seem to prefer one type of environment to another? What happens when something in their environment changes? (Change something and see!) Ask questions, use rich language, and encourage ALL of their observations. (They are learning the scientific process, so be sure to keep them engaged!) Make predictions and follow through. (Don’t be afraid to MODEL this. Do some observations yourself, so they understand what you mean.)
Above all else, just remember these are simply ideas….and not a list meant to overwhelm you. If you’re a mom looking to do some homeschool pre-school, jot some ideas down for Fall, or do a quick summer mini-unit. Make a Tuesday afternoon special by doing one or two of these ideas. Pick and choose what works for YOU, and just have FUN with your kids. Use every moment you have with them to talk and play, knowing that in those moments, learning is happening!