Written by Lorna Lyle, Founder of Solar Power Education and mother of 3 girls aged 4, 3 and 16 months.
This week is National Insect Week run by the Royal Entomological Society. Entomology is the study of insects and they want us all to learn more about insects.
We LOVE insects at Solar Power Education and feel we never know enough about them. On every bug hunt or biodiversity study an enthusiastic child presents us with an insect wanting to know what they have found. Identifying insects can be no easy task so we are here to help!
We hope the ideas below will help you learn about insects, these ideas and resources can be used with the children you support to learn and have fun.
1. Do a Bug Hunt
This can be so simple. Gather your group or children. Find a container (if you would like to have a closer look at what you find) and go and explore.
You can look under rocks, on tree trunks, in the grass, in building nooks and crannies. Alternatively you can make it a bigger project with planning, predicting and investigating.
We have put together a Bug Hunt pdf which includes a tally chart of the most common bugs and links to video clips and further learning resources.
2. Build a Bug Hotel
This can be also be as simple as a pile of logs. It can also be as big as a Bug City involving more materials and a little DIY.
In whatever form your bug hotel has taken you will soon have guests visiting and you can drop into the bug hotel every week to see what insect guests you have staying. See our bug hotel resources here.
3. Take a Photograph of an Insect
Whilst you are exploring insects have a go at taking some photographs of them. If you take a fantastic photograph you an enter it into the National Insect Week's Photography Competition .
You can use the photo to help you identify exactly what you have found. Please share any photographs with us too!
4. Design and Make a Model Insect
Insects are phenomenal to look at.
Okay this one isn't easy but if you are looking for a longer, more challenging project for older children making a 3D insect from tights, newspaper, wire and papier mache is amazing! Or more simply with play doh/plasticine/clay/junk modelling. We have pinned the instructions to our Pinterest board as well as several other bug themed ideas.
5. Read a Story or Watch a Film
I watched Charlotte's Web on the weekend with my 3 and 4 year old. They have asked so many questions about spiders since then.
For EYFS, 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar,' 'Superworm' and, 'What the Ladybird Heard' by Julia Donaldson will help spark interest.
For older children, 'A Bugs Life', 'James and the Giant Peach', 'Insect Soup: Bug Poems', and, 'Alice in Wonderland' will all provide inspiration. Looking at non-fiction, information books on insects will help enthuse as well.
Finally thinking about KS2 and KS3....
Older children can put their research, drawings, models and photos together and create a Steve Backshall, 'Deadly 60' style video clip or presentation.