Library and Writing. Bees, Bugs & Butterflies! Teacher s Friend, a Scholastic Company

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1 Learning About Insects Display the six different insect pictures below and on pages horizontally across the class board. (If you have clear magazine or book pictures, use them instead.) The teacher tells the children that all the pictures are insects, but they look different and live in different places. Then, the teacher asks or tells the children the names of each insect. The teacher engages the children in a short discussion about the various features of the insects (body, head, legs, wings, etc.), how some insects change as they grow and how some are beneficial to humans. While comparing the insects to each other, the teacher incorporates the concepts of "same," "different," "all," and "some." Comments by the teacher and children are written on a large piece of paper with the heading "What We Know About Insects." Hint: Use the information on pages 7-8 "Everything You Need to Know About.Bees, Bugs, and Butterflies." 29

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4 Everything You Need to Know About.."BEES, BUGS and BUTTERFLIES" Here are some facts that may be of interest to you and your students. The "Bee, Bug and Butterfly" Facts Insects make up the largest animal group. All insects have three main body parts head, chest and abdomen. Most insects lay eggs. Their antennae are used to taste, touch, smell, and detect sound. The tiny hairs on their bodies help them to detect sound and air movement. They have an external skeleton (hard outside covering), but no bones or skeleton. Adult insects have six legs. Most insects have wings (either one or two pair) and the ability to fly. Insects have either simple eyes (detecting only light and dark) or compound eyes (many stationary individual eyes that each "see" a portion of a scene or in many different directions). Insects are well adapted to the many environments in which they live. They use various methods to protect themselves, hide, scare or attack enemies, and find mates. Some of these methods include blending in with their surroundings, many spots on wings to make them appear bigger, giving off a special odor, making sounds, flashing signals, and stingers. Some insects live for many years (i.e., ants and honey bees), while others live for only one year (i.e., carpenter bees and stinging wasps). Many people think spiders are insects; however, they are not. Spiders are invertebrates, like insects, but spiders have eight legs, no wings, and only two main body parts. 7

5 The fastest insect is the dragonfly, flying about 35 mph. The longest insect is a type of walking stick, about 12 inches in length. Some insects can be harmful to humans by spreading disease and destroying crops or buildings. Some insects are beneficial to humans by pollinating flowering plants, fruits and vegetable plants (i.e., bees and wasps), eating harmful insects (i.e., yellow jackets, hornets, and wasps), and by providing food for other animals, including humans (i.e., honey bees - make honey). Ants live in large colonies. Different ants build different types of homes. They live in trees, in woods, under leaves or rocks, or in dirt either forming tunnels or anthills. Bees live in colonies in hollow trees or in beehives. Honey bees are the only insect that makes a food that people can eat. Bees suck up nectar (sugar) from flowers and store it in their stomachs. Bees make "honeycombs" of waxen cells placed side-by-side, which look like six-sided rooms. They are used to store eggs, young bees, and honey. The queen bee and her worker bees live all winter inside their hive. The buzzing sound that you may hear when bees are around is not made from their mouths, but rather by their rapidly moving wings. The wings can move up to 400 times per second. Look for more interesting information on the following websites: 8

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