Monday, August 9, 2010

Insects and Bugs--Introduction--Preschool Lesson Plan

This lesson plan introduces preschoolers to insects and other bugs, reviews colors, includes sorting and grouping, an insect craft, music, a story, and exercise for both large and small muscle groups. 

1.  Freeplay

2.  Circle/Whole Group:  A Bug Field-trip. Take the kiddos outside and find bugs.  As they find bugs, draw a picture or brief sketch of each bug type on a sketchbook page.  When you are finished bring the page full of drawings inside and talk about them.  Do you know what any are called–if so, label them.  What do they have in common?  What is similar?  What is different?

Use a second sketchbook page to make a small Insect Poster.  Diagram an insect as you discuss the identifying characteristics of insects–be sure to discuss three body parts, antennae, and wings.  Did you know that insects have compound eyes and see dozens, hundreds, or even more copies of everything?!  Cut up the first sketch page so each bug is separate from the others.  Distribute the bugs to the kiddos and ask them which are insects and which are not.  Make two piles–insects and other bugs.  The insects could be placed on the Insect Poster.

3.  Song:  Insect Hokey Pokey. Set up a Hokey Pokey circle and “Do the Hokey Pokey!”  Take turns making an insect by having kids group together in groups of three to form an insect (3 body parts, 6 legs…the front child can make two antennae with their arms!) and have the “insect” do the Hokey Pokey!

Hokey Pokey
You put your right arm in, you put your right arm out.
You put your right arm in, and you shake it all about.
You do the Hokey Pokey, and you turn yourself around.
That’s what it’s all about!
(Repeat using left arm, right leg, left leg, head, and whole self instead of right arm.)

4.  Story: Are You a Dragonfly?  by Judy Allen and Tudor Humpries.  Have you ever seen a dragonfly?  How are dragonflies like you?  How are they different?  What other animals are like a dragonfly?  Why?

5.  Craft:   Make A Bug.  Give each child a paper plate and access to craft supplies like popsicle sticks, googly eyes, pom-poms, yarn scraps, cloth scraps, paper scraps, markers, tape, and glue.  Encourage them to create their own bug.  Make up a name for it.  Where does it live?  What does it eat?

6.  Learning Activity.  Insects and Bugs. Create a board game by gluing pictures of insects and bugs (for example, lady bug, grasshopper, mosquito, cicada, fly, butterfly, ant, wasp, bee, spider, worm, potato bug, snail, slug, etc.) to a manilla folder and drawing a path connecting the pictures.  Put at least one blank square between each bug.  Have the path end at a log where bugs live.   My path travels along a river, crosses a bridge, and has a slide for the bugs to go down. Show the children the game and let them choose their markers (each child will need a different colored paper to represent themselves…alternatively, you could purchase cheap plastic bugs and let each child choose a bug!). Let the children take turns rolling a dice to see who can roll the highest number and start.  For each turn, the child rolls the dice and moves forward the appropriate number of squares.  If the child lands on a picture, he/she needs to decide if it is an insect or not.  If they answer correctly, they can move forward one more square.  The game ends when all children arrive “in the log.”

7.  Snack:  Bugs on a Boat.  Put peanut butter on a celery stick to make a boat.  Let the kiddos place raisins (bugs) on their own boats and eat them!

8.  Learning Activity.  Bug Obstacle Course.  Place different colors of paper (food) at one end of the room.  Set up an obstacle course where the children have to climb over things like chairs, under tunnels (you can use nap mats), and jump over things like a broomstick.  At the other end of the room place whole sheets of paper that match the colors of food.  Tell the kiddos that they are bugs gathering food for the winter.  To safely save the food, each child needs to pick up a piece of food, identify the color, travel the obstacle course, and put the food on the corresponding paper (in their home).  Watch out for birds that want to eat you or steal your food!  (Use a bird puppet to chase the kids occasionally!)

9.  Freeplay outside. Begin by chanting/singing, “Who Eats Bugs?” and acting out each verse.

Who Eats Bugs

Who eats bugs?  Who eats bugs?
I do!  I do!  says the bird!
Who eats bugs?  Who eats bugs?
I do!  I do!  says the lizard!
Who eats bugs?  Who eats bugs?
I do!  I do!  says the fish!
Who eats bugs?  Who eats bugs?
I do!  I do!  says the spider!
Who eats bugs?  Who eats bugs?
I do!  I do!  says the bear!
Do you eat bugs?  Do you eat bugs?

10.  Circle to review and summarize day.

Supplies for the day:
 2 sketchbook pages (perhaps a clipboard) and a pencil
Hokey Pokey Circle
Are You a Dragonfly?  by Judy Allen and Tudor Humpries
paper plate for each child
glue and tape
googly eyes
other craft supplies for bugs
Insects and Bugs game board, individual markers, and a die
peanut butter
obstacle course objects (chairs, mats, brooms, etc)
colored paper–matching torn pieces and whole pieces

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