Caterpillar
Gr K-5 Insects Home
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Printables and/or Lesson Plans for use in your homes, homeschool, classroom or community centres.

Some caterpillars are as woolly as bears. Some have horns. Some have bristles which sting. Some can
wave their heads in the air. One caterpillar has a false-face. It can blow up the front of its body to look like a
green snake with yellow eyes.

All caterpillars can spin a silk thread with the spinneret beneath their mouths. Tent caterpillars and pine
caterpillars both live in groups, in silk tents they weave for themselves.

When pine caterpillars go exploring, they play follow the leader. Each one leaves a silk thread behind,
making a ribbon which they all follow home again.

Henri Fabre, a French scientist who has written wonderful stories about his insect friends, once tried an
experiment with some pine caterpillars. He joined their silk ribbon end to end in a circle, and they marched
around it for eight days, hardly ever stopping. On the eighth day, one caterpillar fell out of line by accident,
and found its way home. Then slowly the others followed.

Bugs are born knowing how to do many clever things, but when tricks are played on them they don't know
how to figure things out for themselves as people do.

A caterpillar spends all its days just eating. Like the
beetle larva, it may grow out of five bigger and bigger
skins. The last time it changes its skin, it puts on its new and different pupa skin and goes to sleep.

Most kinds of
moth caterpillars change into their pupa skins in a warm little dressing room they make,
called a cocoon. Cocoons may be of silk thread, or of leaves sewn together with silk thread or of earth.

People unwind the thread from the cocoon of the silk moth to make silk dresses.

When a
butterfly caterpillar becomes a pupa, it doesn't make a cocoon. Instead, it spins a silk net on a twig
to give it something to hold on to, and a silk rope to tie itself about the middle. Then it wiggles out of its old
caterpillar skin, which has split down the back.

The pupa skin underneath is wet and sticky, but when it dries, it is hard and as waterproof as a raincoat.
Each kind of butterfly has its own kind of pupa skin.

When the pupa skin splits, the moth or butterfly climbs out. First it dries its wet and wrinkled wings, and
then pumps them full of the greenish fluid which is a bug's blood. Then it drinks some flower nectar with its
long sucking tongue which works like a nose dropper and can be curled up when it is not being used. After
coming out of its pupa skin, it lives only a few more weeks.

The moth caterpillars are the worst pests. They are the ones that tunnel through fruit, and stalks of grain,
and eat holes in our best woollen sweaters.

Learn all about
Caterpillars of the Eastern US Forests (USDA information) (Illustrated)

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285 Pages - $3.95 -> My First Book of Bugs is geared towards younger
learners of around ages 4 or 5, to about 8 years old. This simply written but
concise book contains teaching guides, lesson plans, interactive student
activities, vocabulary and phonics exercises, counting & maths extensions,
drawing, cutting & pasting, colouring, crossword puzzles, wordsearches,
fun mazes, with activities also geared towards reference and research.

This book provides a fun and solid platform on which your child can build
his or her knowledge of these fascinating and many faceted creatures,
while learning about the importance of conservation, the food web and
circle of life. Extensions include Science & Nature Study, Bug Maths, Motor
Skills, Comprehension Exercises, Vocabulary and Bug Games, Life Skills
(with the oh-so-cute bug-themed Cooking With Kids section), crafts and
activities, finger plays and action songs, colouring, drawing, dictionary
work...

The unit is complemented by a
72 Page Thematic Unit (separate
download), which includes flash cards, board and card games, writing
exercises, word wall cards and other bug themed activities which will
enhance your home study of this subject.
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