It's Insects Theme Week! This week we are taking a closer look at bugs! On this page you will find ideas to complete your Insects Lesson Plan. I've included ideas that support cognitive, social, and physical development all while exploring insects. You will also find ideas for books and materials to add to your learning environment this week including fun ways to use activities from my Insects Activity Pack and a FREE sample Insects Lesson Plan to get you started!
In addition to pretend insects, you can also add a variety of items for children to view insects: Bug Viewers, Bug Houses, Tweezers, Magnifying Glasses, a Child Size Microscope, Photos of Insects (calendars work great for this), and Books about Insects. You can also add clip boards, writing tools, Lab Coats, Silk Flowers, and Photos of Scientists at work.
Set up a bug enclosure in your learning environment for studying insects. This can be something as simple as a large plastic container with a lid (be sure to provide ventilation for extended viewing) or a large aquarium for students to add insects to for observation.
Provide small containers and magnifying glasses for bug observation outdoors.
Add skins from bugs that have molted to a tray with a magnifying glass for students to explore
Create blueprints for a bug den and then build in the block area.
Sort bugs by flying and non-flying (printable included in my Insects Activity Pack) using photographs or insects or insect counters. Find other ways to sort insects!
Create a place for exploring insects outside. This fabulous outdoor bug exploration area belongs to Pre-K Fun Community Member Teresa Becker
Hang posters that include pictures of insects and vocabulary describing the different parts of insects.
Set out the CVC Sorting Mat with the -ug words (which includes the word bug)
Be sure to provide and read lots of books about insects this week. Include books that can be used as reference when children have questions about books (this is a great time for children to learn that information can be found in books), fun story books about bugs, books with photographs of real insects, and easy to read books about insects for early readers.
Here are some of my favorite books about insects!
Add a variety of insect stickers, stamps and stencils to your art space this week.
Set up an invitation to create an insect! Some items you might include:
Paper plates A variety of shapes cut out of card stock construction paper brads for connecting the pieces chenille sticks (for legs) googly eyes or eye stickers
Invite preschoolers to paint by dipping plastic insects into paint and then stamping or dragging across paper
Trace the preschooler on a large piece of paper, invite them to turn their outline into an insect by adding extra legs and antennae.
Invite your preschooler to paint using a fly swatter! This is a great exploration to set up outdoors. Provide shallow dishes of washable tempera paint, fly swatters, and a large piece of butcher paper or poster board.
Make Ants on a Log for snack
Get preschoolers moving their body from head to toe! Invite your preschoolers to move their body like different insects. Use large colorful pictures if available, or simply announce an insect for them to move like. Give the preschoolers a chance to announce insects as well. Be sure to encourage movement that engages the whole body!
Follow the Insect Leader: Play a version of Follow the Leader, in this version the leader announces an insect and then mimics the behavior of that insect as the rest follow.
Set up an invitation to make insects from play dough. Some materials to consider: small twigs, chenille sticks, googly eyes, parts from a Cootie game,
Set up a sensory invitation! This Insect Sensory Bin was created by Pre-K Fun community member Erica P. of Erica's Educare Learning Center. Give a big workout to small hands by adding small tweezers for preschoolers to pick the bugs out.
Set up a simple bug hotel outside! Start with an empty flower pot, wooden box, or other large container that can be laid on it's side. Make layers using a variety of materials such as dead wood, straw, hay, leaves, bark, twigs, and fresh cut flowers. Come back to the bug hotel often to see what kind of creatures have checked in! As students are observing point out the different layers, see if different types of insects have checked into different types of materials. **Provide magnifying glasses and clipboards with pencils for observing and recording data about the bug hotel!
Invite preschoolers to set up life sized bug habitats outdoors! Preschoolers can then pretend to be bugs themselves.
Go on a bug hunt! Gather clipboards, crayons, and magnifying classes then go on a walk or explore your outdoor play space to see what kind of creatures can be found! Students can record their data by writing or drawing a picture. Consider creating a simple checklist to go along with this activity.
Play What bug am I? Provide cards with pictures of insects (print or draw your own). Preschoolers take turns drawing an insect card, without showing their peers they act like that insect and see if their peers can guess which insect they are.
Set up a bug hunt in the classroom. Hide plastic bugs or photographs in the classroom for students to search for. Give students each a collection jar or container to collect their insects. Once they have found all the insects invite everyone to share and compare their finds! **Get creative! Bring in large rocks (or simply cut some out of paper), or sticks, pretend grass etc. to hide bugs in or around. Consider having children work in pairs to find the insects.
Here are some fun new items to consider adding to your early learning environment this week!