Going Bug-gy! is a collection of activities and resources intended
as an overview of the study of insects and bugs. The study of bugs offers
young students the opportunity to cover basic science concepts and skills,
such as classification, observation, and responses to habitat. This project
introduces bugs in general with a field observation activity, narrowing
the focus to the study of a particular species the colorful butterfly.
"Going Buggy" is organized to meet the diverse needs of many types of classrooms
and schedules. Activities can be done in isolation without having to work
through the entire project. Students can organize all their work into a
bug portfolio for review at the end of the project.
Activities in Going Bug-gy! have been developed to meet
the needs of most learners from grades K4. However, suggestions
for modifying some activities have been made at point of use in order
to meet the particular needs of more specific grade ranges.
Several assessment components are embedded in this lesson plan.
highlight activities that address specific target skills. Targeted skills
are listed in the Learning Objectives. A Writing Checklist
assesses student proficiency with a journal writing activity. An end-of-project
Assessment Checklist provides a quick guide
to evaluate students' grasp of key ideas.
Scholastic's Online Activities are designed to support the teaching
of standards-based skills. While participating in the Going Bug-gy!
project, students become proficient with several of these skills. Each skill
below is linked to its point of use in the Teacher's Guide.
In the course
of participating in the "Going Bug-gy!" project students will:
Ask questions about bugs, their behavior, and their habitats.
Observe and record information about bugs.
Classify bugs by identifying major structures common to them.
Use technology to find out about the parts of a bug's body.
Understand how living things interact with or cause changes to their
Demonstrate knowledge of bugs with a written or drawn response.
A wealth of activities set out to foster positive attitudes toward conservation. Students develop observation and classifying skills as they investigate habits of tiny bugs. Field research, habitat construction, and arts and crafts extension activities are highlights.
Go on a Bug
Designed mainly for grades 24, this Internet Field Trip helps students
understand bug behavior while sharpening Internet research skills. While
navigating the World Wide Web, students see the world as a honeybee sees
it, browse a gallery of butterflies, and test their knowledge with a quiz
Play Monster Bugs!
Familiarize students with insect anatomy by having them take part in an
interactive bug-assembly game. Students learn fascinating bug facts with
the help of Ms. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus and create six different
types of insects from their component parts: head, body, and wings. Students
can also create "Monster Bugs" by mixing the various parts.
Your computer must be equipped with speakers and Shockwave 7 to play the
more interactive version of this activity.
Students meet the author of the new book Butterfly House, a fictional
account that complements the non-fiction bug theme. An excerpt of Ms.
Bunting's new book is provided. The author also discusses her life
and how she became a writer.
Talk Bugs With the Friz
Students can visit an archive of a past interview with Ms. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus to read questions and answers about bugs.
Scholastic's Article Archive furnishes students with numerous articles
about the insect world. These articles, taken from award-winning classroom
magazines like Scholastic's SuperScience Blue and Science World,
provide students with information they need for a journal entry on bugs.
All activities have been developed for grades K4. More grade specific
modifications to these activities are offered at point of use.
Ask students what they already know about insects, and what they would
like to know. Organize student input on a K-W-L chart on poster paper.
Display the poster of student questions on the wall to use as a reference
throughout the course of the project.
Minibeasts (3 Days)
Remind students of the questions of the day before. Read aloud from the
K-W-L chart. Then invite the class on a bug field trip to discover answers
to some of their questions.
You may wish to focus
the "Going Bug-gy!" project on the
minibeast activity, but if time is a constraint, follow the modified
lesson plan below.
Before you journey
on your bug field trip:
Return to the classroom
and the K-W-L poster from the day before. Ask students if they can answer
any of the questions. Have they learned anything previously unknown? You
may wish to inspire discussion by asking questions from the
"Investigations" section of the Minibeasts activity.
- Scroll down the
minibeast lesson plan and read about the habitat you want to research.
Read aloud with students the "Being
a Good Observer" section to inform them on safe handling of bugs
and their habitats. While students are observing bugs in the field,
ask questions from the section under "Being a Good Observer." Grades
24: Have students take notes as they observe.
Invite students to
respond to their field research by assigning the drawing activity from
section. Display any art activities prominently in the classroom. Grades
2-4: You may wish to assign an additional activity from the presentation
Online Bug Field
Trip (12 Days)
Encourage students to visit Internet Field Trips. Grades K2:
Visit image sites in the field trip, such as the
Entomology Image Gallery with younger students. Point out names of
bugs, their habits, and habitats. Grades 24: Older students
can visit Bugs Caught in the
Web throughout the life of the project, or you may do this during
one class period. Have students look for responses to unanswered class-generated
questions about insects as they travel through these sites.
Have students learned anything new about bugs? Can they describe characteristics
that organize bugs into separate categories? Add students' responses
to the K-W-L poster.
Depending on the availability of computers, students can visit Web sites
in pairs or in small groups.
Bug Bodies (4
Have pairs of students play the
Monster Bug Game. Instruct students to use technology to put together
body parts and make a real or unique bug. When they are finished with
their bugs, have students print out a copy. Then students can share their
bug with the whole class. Encourage them to discuss reasons for each body
part they choose: head, wings, body, legs. The student audience may want
to ask: What are its habits? Where does it live? What facts do you know
about the bug? Have students add relevant responses to the K-W-L poster.
Bug Focus: Butterfly
Return to the discussion about bugs and the K-W-L poster. Have students
discuss any specific bugs that they've learned a lot about. Deepen
students' knowledge of insects by focusing on one species: the butterfly.
Ask students who have learned a lot about the species to inform the class
with facts. Begin a new K-W-L poster about butterflies. Then instruct
individual students or small groups to visit butterfly
Now that students have taken part in building background on butterflies,
invite them to build a butterfly habitat. Visit
Butterflies Are Pretty Tricky. (Use flowers instead of seeds if time
is a constraint.) Lead students to follow the step-by-step activity inspired
by the episode "The Magic School Bus Takes a Ride on the Busserfly."
Once it's built, keep a daily log that records the kinds of bugs and
butterflies students see and how the bugs use the habitat. Grades K1:
Younger students can keep a pictorial log.
Inspire further interest in the butterfly habitat by reading aloud the
Butterfly House by Eve Bunting. Grades K2: Ask younger
students to draw a picture of their favorite scene or of the scene depicted
in the excerpt. Have them label their work. Ask students to discuss how
the information from the book might help them with their habitat.
After students have had a chance to discuss and view butterflies, invite
them to take part in one or more of the following teacher-led Butterfly
Butterflies and Moths (PDF) Discover the differences and similarities
between butterflies and moths.
Monarchs Investigate the migrating habits of the monarch butterflies
and the issues that threaten their already declining numbers. Infer
stages in the life cycle of a monarch butterfly by playing a board game.
Eve Bunting (2-3 Days)
Revisit the events and activities from the Butterfly House lesson.
Read aloud the biography on Eve Bunting.
Have students discuss questions they would like to ask
the author. Suggest that students' questions address: Butterfly
House, the author's knowledge of butterflies, or her life as a
writer. Have students refer to the transcript of the interview. If students' questions
are not answered, encourage students to draw conclusions about possible
answers. Discuss relevant issues that were raised in the interview.
Ms. Frizzle (1 Day)
Ask students to discuss what they know about Ms. Frizzle and The Magic
School Bus. Solicit questions students would like to ask Ms. Frizzle and
write them on the chalkboard. Then
read the transcripts of an interview with the Friz from last year.
If students' questions are not answered, have students ask them of
the class. Encourage classmates to provide possible responses. Ask children
to tell the source of their responses.
Grades K-2: Invite students to share their bug portfolios during
a teacher-student interview. Challenge them to discuss what they've
learned from their work with the K-W-L chart. Have students include a
diagram of a bug they've learned about. Diagrams should feature callouts.
Set aside time to help younger students label the callouts.
Grades 2-4: Invite older students to write a journal entry on what
they have learned about the insect world, or about butterflies in particular.
Help them navigate through the
Article Archive if they would like to further inform their writing.
You may wish to have them visit the
Descriptive Writing workshop for a more formal lesson on the journal writing
- use their own words?
- write about a particular
interest or concern?
- include the date?
- describe an observation?
- discuss what they've
Assessment for All Grades
- Can students discern
differences between several similar types of bugs?
- Did students understand
how technology facilitates the outcomes of the game?
- Did students demonstrate
in their writing an understanding of the structure of a journal entry?
- Did the students
demonstrate in their writing or diagram an understanding of the role
of bugs in their own environment?
This project aids students in meeting national standards in several curriculum
National Council of
Teachers of English (NCTE) and the International Reading Association (IRA)
- Students read a
wide range of print and non-print texts to build an understanding of
themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world;
to acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society
and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment.
- Students adjust
their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions,
style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences
and for different purposes.
- Students use a
variety of technological and information resources (e.g., libraries,
databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information
and to create and communicate knowledge.
- Students participate
as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety
of literacy communities.
- Students use spoken,
written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g.,
for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).
National Council of
Science Teachers (NCST)
Regulation and Behavior
Standards for Students:
- use technology
tools to enhance learning, increase productivity, and promote creativity
- use technology
tools to collaborate, publish, and interact with peers, experts, and
- use technology
to locate, evaluate, and collect information from a variety of sources
Invite students to create insect "trading cards," with illustrations
of insects in their habitats on one side and facts on the back. These
can double as a flash card/quiz game. One student shows the front of the
card to a partner and reads the clues on the back, while the other student
guesses what the animal is.
Allow students to draw or paint pictures of what they have learned. A
large mural of insects in their habitats could be created for the classroom,
hallway, or other communal space.
Students can act out the parts of the insects in a work of fiction. This
has the potential for some creative costumes and props.
Have students write a diary entry from the point of view of a bug. What
did they do and see that day? What were some of the sights, sounds, and
smells they encountered?
Explore different ways in which insects have adapted to their habitats.
As students are researching their insects, encourage them to look at unique
features of behavior, color, and size that help the insects to survive.
Students create their own collection of local insects. Physical specimens
can be found or sketches can be drawn of insects. A field trip to a local
park will offer access to bugs. Insect guides from the library can be
made available to classify the insects, and to measure them. If physical
specimens are to be taken, some class instruction should be spent on how
to collect the bugs humanely.
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