Polish up your binoculars! Today, we’re discovering a new species of bug…and rumor has it a local news crew is in the area, ready to chat with you about your latest contribution to science!
We read Big Bug Surprise by Julia Gran (Scholastic Press, 2007). Prunella is excited about bugs, excited to tell people about bugs, and excited to bring a special bug to show-and-tell at her school. But her enthusiasm for spouting bug facts is meet by a repeated “Not now, Prunella!” from her parents, bus driver, and teacher. However, when a swarm of bees invades the classroom, Prunella saves the day with her quick thinking and vast knowledge of insect behavior.
For this project, we made binoculars, designed bugs, and created a habitat for said bug. Later, we hid the bugs outside the library for kids to “discover.” Then our camera crew interviewed the budding entomologists about their new find.
- 2 toilet paper tubes
- 1 rectangles of black construction paper (approximately 4″ x 6″)
- A selection of color masking tape
- Hole punch
- 1 ribbon (approximately 33.5″ long)
- 1 toilet paper tube and/or 1 orange juice container cap
- A selection of patterned tape
- A selection of patterned paper and construction paper
- A selection of embossed foil paper
- A selection of pipe cleaners
- A selection of sparkle stems
- A selection of wiggle eyes
- A selection of self-adhesive foam shapes
- A selection of craft ties
- A selection of mini pom-poms
- A selection of small feathers
- Pieces of iridescent cello
- 1 box (I used a 7″ x 7″ x 3″ pastry box left over from this project)
- Brown and green construction paper for habitat
- Some fabric leaves
- Some fabric flowers
- Tape, scissors, white glue, glue sticks for construction
- Hot glue
- 1 news crew (more on that below!)
First, the binoculars. Wrap 2 toilet paper tubes with black construction paper. Then tape the top and bottom of the tubes together.
Punch a hole in the top of each tube and knot a ribbon through each hole to create a strap. Finish by wrapping the top and bottom of the tubes with color masked tape. Done!
Now for the bugs! We made a few inspirational bug models in advance…
Bug-building was very simple. First, we offered kids a choice of bug body (a toilet paper tube or an orange juice container cap). Then we turned everyone loose on the art supplies. I had a hot glue gun ready to attach wiggle eyes (and whatever else was needed).
It’s difficult to see in this picture, but I had a lot of success layer iridescent cello over white construction paper to create sparkly bug wings. Quite a few kids replicated this.
When the bugs were finished, we handed out the boxes and got to work on habitats.
In addition to fabric leaves and flowers, we prepped a few “leaves” and “sticks” using brown and green construction paper.
When the habitats were finished, we collected the bugs and headed outside to the library plaza. While the kids waited with me, Katie placed the bugs in various locations. Then the search was on!
Discovered bugs were gleefully discovered and tucked carefully into their habitats by eager young entomologists.
I switched into my coat and “news” hat and assembled the camera crew. Mic in hand, I asked questions like “What is your bug’s name?” “What does your bug like to eat?” “Can you tell me a little more about its habitat?” “What sound does your bug make?”
You’ll find instructions for making this lovely handheld microphone, camera, and boom microphone set here (snazzy “News” fedora not included).