Happy Summer! What a great time to get outdoors and immerse yourself in nature. But if you can’t do that right now, you can always use books to investigate the world. For teachers and parents who are looking at ways to engage their kids in science and STEM possibly virtually this fall, these books are the best way to get your kids some hands-on pollinator experience!
Many schools raise butterflies as part of their science curriculum. And why not? It’s fun and also a great way to see science in action. But you could raise butterflies in your house, too. This book tells you just how to do it.
Or you can also find information on the internet here at Save Our Monarchs.org
Why would you do this? First of all, it’s COOL! But also because it is a great way to learn about life cycles of organisms. The best part is at the end, you will have some amazing new butterflies to release into the world.
It has activities to explore beetles, butterflies, spiders, and other arthropods. WOW! The book starts out by introducing the reader to the different bugs that are out there and then goes through ways to observe them safely. You can even create a bug net, and set up a a bug trap. like the one outlined below:
Be sure that when you capture the bugs, you observe them for a short time. Maybe keep a journal of what the bug does while you have it. How does it move? What does it eat? Does it interact with other bugs (assuming you’ve caught a few at a time). Consider drawing the bug in your journal, too.
Consider coming up with your own experiment. For example, if you introduce a bit of material that isn’t in their environment, like a piece of paper or a strip of cloth, watch how they react to it. Do you think they will ignore it completely or perhaps they will appear to inspect it. Make a hypothesis and then observe the bug. Gather data by making notes and drawing pictures. Then come up with a conclusion. Was your hypothesis correct? Why or why not?
Finally, if you want to have your students or kids do an entire virtual experience with bees, have them read the Turn This Book into a Beehive! book
It gives kids a peek inside the real life of a beehive, by explaining the individual bees and their jobs within the colony. How they all interact, and even explains how bees move about and make the buzzing sound. This book is TONS of fun. You could have kids do a few of these projects and then write up their observations. Or even, if you are doing a virtual science class, have them present the buzzers they made to the class.
Perhaps assign every kid a certain bee in the colony and have them write a few sentences or a short paragraph about what they did that day. You know, a day in the life of a forager bee or a court bee… well you get the idea!
Whatever you do, have FUN with it! Kids will enjoy the hands-on aspect of these books and they will also be learning a ton of great facts along the way. Happy Sciencing!
Jennifer Swanson is the founder of STEMTuesday and the award-winning author of over 40 book for kids, mostly about STEM. A huge science geek, Jennifer encourages kids (of all ages) to engage their curiosity and DISCOVER the Science all around them! You can learn more about her and book her for speaking engagements and school visits at www.JenniferSwansonBooks.com