What’s Bugging Your Garden?
Sounds kinda funny don’t you think?
This is our last post for the Homeschool Village Garden Challenge 2011, and we chose to focus on Garden Bugs. We have had so much fun with this whole garden challenge learning project this summer.
So after doing all these fun learning adventures with the garden, I thought I would put together a Garden Bug Unit Study to go along with our Garden Unit Study and share it with you too.
Garden Bug Unit Study
Books We Read
I searched our book shelves, and came up with these great stories to explain more about garden bugs:
Topsy Turvey Tracy The Grimy Slimy Bug Safari
Bugs Life (read the book, and watched the movie).
Black Widow Spiders, Creepy Bugs, Flying Bugs, I Like Bugs, Strange And Amazing Insects, It’s Alive, Slimmy Slugs and so much more…….
We also watched a DK movie called Insects.
Lesson Plans, Unit Studies, and Lapbooks
Did you know that you might find over 40 different bugs in your garden at any given time? Here is a great website to give you an introduction in identifying some of the bugs in your garden.
How to naturally reduce garden pests.
What is pollination and how do bugs help polinate the plants in the garden?
Beneficial garden insects verses pest
Non-poisonous verses poisonous bugs (we live where there are various kinds of black widow spiders, brown recluse spiders, wasps, hornets, centipedes, milipedes, fire ants, and so on that cause painful injuries from injecting poinons into their victims).
Homeschool Share: Ant Unit Study and Lapbook
Homeschool Share: Bee Unit Study and Lapbook
Homeschool Share: Butterfly Unit Study and Lapbook
Homeschool Share: Dragonfly Unit Study and Lapbook
Homeschool Share: Praying Mantis Unit Study and Lapbook
Homeschool Share: Snail Unit Study and Lapbook
Yucky Bug Facts and Games
Adopt An Insect Unit Study
Spider Unit Study For Kinders
Garden Pest Unit For Older Students
great for coloring, matching, skills practice, lapbooking, notebooking, and more.
C is for Catepillar
Laddy Bug Math File Folder Game
I love this math game!!! You can adjust it to be simple or more complicated based on your students skill level.
Montessori Garden Printables
Insect Coloring Pages
Activities & Crafts
Draw A Bug Game
Bug Bingo Game
Paint A Bug pages from the dollar store
Bottle Top Bugs craft
Love Bugs craft
Foam Bug Craft Kit from the dollar store
Bug On A Stick craft kit from the dollar store.
Lots of bug crafts
DLTK: Insect Crafts
Family Fun: Bug Crafts
Go on a garden bug hunt and search for bugs and worms. Use hand shovels, butterfly nets, containers, tweezers, etc. to capture a few harmless bugs to observe them, and then release them back to the garden. We found worms, beetles, pill bugs, flies, ladybugs, ants, spiders, bees, wasps, butterflies, etc.
fly in our butterfly net
Activity trays with plastic bugs for the kids to sort, count, play, and role play.
Sensory & discovery bin. This can be a small bin, or a large bin. I made both.
I used small river rocks, plastic bugs, various scoops, tongs, funnels, and containers for lots of creativity, some small flowers or plants, sticks (to use as trees or logs or just use as sticks for bugs to crawl on or hide under), use green felt or foam (for a green lawn or to make a mini garden scene), use a minnow net as a butterfly net, colored glass rocks to make a pond and larger rocks for bugs to crawl on or hide under.
I can’t wait to share some of these fun bug science experiments with you. But you will have to wait until a future story. I’ll link it back here when it is finished.
I found this great science experiment book at the dollar store, and it is totally creepy and lots of fun.
This is another great science book about insects and plants and we have done several experiments from this book too.
Here are some more ideas you can do without a science book:
Grow a bee garden. Plant sunflowers and various flowering plants to attract and observe the bees.
Grow a butterfly garden. Plant different flowers that attract butterflies and observe their behavior and life cycle.
Raise various bugs from eggs or larve (you can buy these on line, or find them free in nature): lady bugs, butterflies, praying mantis, ants, etc.
Tend a worm bin or worm bed. Buy it or make it yourself. Put in a pound of worms for each bin you raise. Add newspaper, soil, kitchen vegetable and fruit scraps, and obeserve the worms life cycle and their ability to turn everything into compost. Apply the compost to your garden and continue the process again and again.
Use a magnifiying glass to look at a live and / or plastic bug up close. Have the children describe or draw the different body parts of the bug. Have older children lable the body parts.
What do bugs eat? Choose a bug and find out if it eats your garden plants, or if it eats other bugs.
Make Rubber Bugs
We made rubber bugs with a bug machine “Creepy Crawler”. I found this on clearance for $5 last year. It is just like an easy bake oven, only it bakes rubber instead of cookies. It comes with two baking trays, a tray pusher, and various colors of liquid rubber goop to make your designs. The baking trays are molds that shape the bugs. Ours contained a spider, fly, worm, dragonfly, scorpion.
The boys had so much fun taking turns designing their own “creepy crawlers”.
The process was fool proof. Add a few squirts of colored liquids into the mold/baking pan.
You can make whatever designs you like.
Place in mini oven. The mini oven sets its own timer automatically, and shuts off automatically when it is done. It was very easy to work with.
Allow the bugs to cool. Then remove from baking tray. We filled almost two whole cookie sheets, and must have made 50 of these, but I could not find all the pictures of the different colored ones.
We visited several places to enhance our learning about gardens and insects.
Roper Mountain Science Center Butterfly Garden
and Living History Farm Garden
This is one of my favorite pictures of the day. My 11 year old son used my camera to capture several lovely pictures from this trip. Here is a snap shot of a bee pollinating a purple cone flower. He is going to enter one of his many photos he took on this day in an upcoming photo contest.
Farmers Market / Tailgate Market to see what farmers grow in their gardens to sell to the public.
Carl Sandburg Gardens
Want to try eating some bugs?
Other Garden Unit Stories
Be sure to read our other Garden Stories and Garden Unit Study
Be sure to check out other homeschool families stories about their garden challenge at Homeschool Village
This post will also be linked up with
ABC and 123
No Time For Flash Cards
The Play Academy