I recently had the pleasure of being invited in to visit some year 4 classrooms to talk bugs! Each class had taken on an investigation of different creepy crawlies as part of their inquiry work. I whipped up some tiny ‘one cut books’ to match their bugs of interest – perfect to use as an independent early finishers activity as there’s room to add illustrations or diagrams. If you’d like a slightly larger size (as seen with the worm booklet above) make sure you print your one cut booklet sheets on A3 paper. These mini booklets focus specifically on NZ natives, and are filled with little facts and interesting tidbits that highlight the special features of each native, including Māori names, threats they are facing and how to recognise them.
The Bugs included are:
- NZ Preying/Praying Mantises (including the tragic story of the invading, cannibalising South African species)
- NZ Spiders (did you know we have 4 species of FISH eating spider?)
- NZ Worms (Learn about our 1.4 metre glow in the dark native worm!)
- NZ Butterflies and Moths (did you know our Zebra moth features on the NZ $100 bank note?)
- Are you focusing on a different native bug and would like a booklet? Leave me a comment and I’ll endeavour to include your creepy crawly!
|The resource above also includes clickable links to other great internet based Kiwi resources!|
Some classes were also working on detailed artworks of their bugs, and used these sketching sheets to ensure they included all the main features of their creepy crawlies.
Below are some of my favourite bug themed books (not all specific to NZ) for reading to your class as you dive into this fascinating topic…
This clever book contains a two stories in one. It interweaves the written story of the Moth’s life cycle, along with a ‘photo story’ that follows a young child and their family through time. These tales are accompanied by beautifully collaged illustrations – perfect for inspiring your own classroom pictures of moths or butterflies. Click here to read our previous blog post about the incredible Puriri moth.
This Kiwi classic combines the writing of Patricia Grace with the illustrations of Robyn Kahukiwa (love her work). I recall being read this book at school in the early 80’s….. but as my son has also recently enjoyed it, I think we can safely say it’s stood the test of time! Packed full of lots of Kiwi themes, this is a must read for your bug topic.
Manuelo the Playing Mantis
by Don Freeman
The latest addition to our ‘top 5 coolest facts about bugs’ series is………….. the silk worm! (*Don’t forget to check out our previous ‘Top 5’ posts featuring worms, ants, cicadas & bees for more FREE mini fact posters!)
Would you want to be a silkworm or silk-moth?
- PROS: Silkworms live a life of luxury! They are kept warm and clean and well fed at all times.
- CONS: Silkworms have been so heavily domesticated (over 5000+ years) that they are unable to survive by themselves in the wild. To get the silk from the cocoon in a clean, single thread, most cocoons are exposed to high heat to kill the pupae inside. If the pupa is allowed to continue its lifecycle, it will release a special enzyme to dissolve some of the silk threads so it can emerge as a moth. The enzyme means that the silk thread will be broken into different lengths, which isn’t as valuable as an unbroken length. Did you know that Gandhi promoted cotton spinning machines as an alternative to silk and also promoted wild silk (known as ‘Peace-silk’) which is made from the cocoons of wild and semi wild silkmoths?
Looking for a more in depth resources about silkworms? You might want to check out our ‘Fuzzy Moths & Silky Worms’ resource – packed full of lots of fascinating facts and fun activities all about the life of the silkworm and silk moth.
|Click here to find this resource in my TpT store
Don’t forget to tell someone next time you’re wearing silk, that the fabric is actually made out of hardened silkworm saliva!
There’s nothing more summery than the deafening chorus of cicadas…. and this has inspired me to whip up another ‘top 5’ printable!
Many of the tree trunks near our house are covered in crunchy ‘cicada shirts’ (this was my 2 years olds description of what an empty cicada shell was after I attempted to explain!)
They really are incredible creatures – it’s amazing to think that some of the nymphs have been underground for up to 17 years before emerging as adults that live for a maximum of 4 weeks. In the photo below you can see the cicadas ‘ocelli’ (the 3 primitive, pinky-jewel like eyes between the 2 main bulgy eyes).
Looking for more thorough resources about cicadas? You might want to have a peek at my ‘Cicada Celebration’ pack! (This 46 page fun and facts booklet is designed to immerse you in all things celebrating the humble but noisy cicada! This pack also contains beautiful photography to help you get up close and personal with this fascinating insect).
|You can find this product here in my TpT store.|
Hope you’re having a great end to summer,
My brother tells a really good story about hearing a repeated tapping/banging on the door late one night. He opened the door, only to be unexpectedly smacked in the face! After flailing about trying to work out what was going on he realised he’d encountered a giant flying Puriri Moth…
These beautiful large green native moths have a fascinating life cycle. They spend 7 years as a caterpillar (mokoroa) living inside native trees and feeding on their sap. The caterpillar then pupates into a moth, and has only 48 hours to find a mate and lay up to 2000 eggs before dying. The adult moth doesn’t have mouth parts (so can’t eat) and has a wingspan of about 15cm.
This season we’ve had plenty of these beautiful mossy-green moths paying us night time visits by flying into the windows…they really do make quite a loud thumping noise and can give you quite a fright! I’ve even heard the cat and dog crunching on them more than once…. URGH!
|You can download a ~FREE PRINTABLE~
blank template of this fact file here!
I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you that you manage to catch a glimpse of one of these beautifully magical giants moths!