"The study of entomology is one of the most fascinating of pursuits. It takes its votaries into the treasure-houses of Nature, and explains some of the wonderful series of links which form the great chain of creation. It lays open before us another world, of which we have been hitherto unconscious, and shows us that the tiniest insect, so small perhaps that the unaided eye can scarcely see it, has its work to do in the world, and does it." ~REV. J. G. WOOD.
More than half the of animals on earth are insects. Scientists have different opinions about just how many different types of insects exist, but most agree that there are more than a million species. There are many different types of insects, and they can be found just about anywhere. Some insects are helpful to humans because they attack and eat other insects that destroy crops. Some insects are parasites of insect pests. Among the harmful species are those that eat our crops, stored products, and clothing. Some can bite or sting and spread diseases, such as malaria, yellow fever, and plague. Most insect species are fairly harmless.
Because most insects are so small, few people know how common they really are. Keep your eyes open the next time you are in the woods, a field, or even your own yard. See how many different kinds of insects you can find. You can recognize an insect by its six legs, three body parts (head, thorax, abdomen), and two antennae. Most insects have four wings, but sometimes they are modified wings. Some insects have only two wings, while others have no wings.
In the search for a study which will give unlimited scope for independent thought and observation and which will lead the child to understand better the forces of nature that affect agriculture, nothing is so readily available and attractive to the child as nature study, an elementary study of the natural sciences. In fact agriculture is primarily a course in nature study where we study how plants and animals struggle for existence.
There is a period in the life of every child when he is especially susceptible to the "call of the fields;" when he roams through woods or by shady brooks gathering flowers, fishing for mud-cats and cleaning out bumble-bees' nests. It is often compared with the life of the savage and is merely the outward expression of an inward craving for a closer relation with nature and her creatures. If one can reach a child while at that age he has a ready listener and an apt learner. That is the time to guide and instruct the child along the line of nature study.
The most important questions confronting the average educator/parent in the grade schools are: "What material shall I use and how shall I proceed to direct the child along this line?" First of all use that material which is most readily available, which is most familiar to the child and which will attract and hold his or her attention. There is nothing so readily available and so generally interesting to both boys and girls as are the thousands of fluttering, buzzing, hopping and creeping forms of insects. They are present everywhere, in all seasons and are known to every child of the city or farm. They are easily observed in the field and can be kept in confinement for study. Many of them are of the greatest importance to man; a study of them becomes of special value.
In pursuing a study of nature and her creatures one should go into the woods and fields as much as possible and study them where they are found. In this way one can determine how they live together, what they feed on and the various other questions which the inquisitive mind of a healthy child will ask. When field work is not possible, gather the insects and keep them alive in jars where they can be fed and observed.
Most of the forms which are included in these pages can be kept in confinement in glass jars or studies out doors. The studies have been made so general that in case the particular form mentioned is not available any closely related form can be used. Each child should make a small collection of living insects for study and should be encouraged to observe insects and their work in the field. The collections and many of the observations could be made to good advantage during the summer vacation when the insects are most abundant and active.
Learners should not be encouraged merely to make observations, but they should be required to record them as well. Brief descriptions of the appearance and development of insects, the injury they do, and remedies for the same, will help fix in mind facts which otherwise might soon be forgotten. Drawings, whenever possible, should also be required. The learner who can record observations accurately with drawings will not soon forget them. The educator/parent should therefore require each learner to provide himself with a note-book for keeping brief, but accurate notes and careful drawings. The drawings should be made with a hard pencil on unruled paper, the size of the note-book, and the learners should be encouraged to be neat and accurate.
"There is a difference between a grub and a butterfly; yet your butterfly was a grub." —SHAKESPEARE.
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.