Curriculum Ideas-Bug predictions

This week, let's examine bugs! I mean really examine bugs. Here are some great activities to do with science and creating theories and estimations. Critical thinking skills are important to develop in the early years and all of these activities do just that:

1. Get an ant farm! Put in some different types of food and ask the children which the ants will like best. For more fun, ask them why they think that will be the favorite. Throughout the day and week, check back and record your findings. Which food went the fastest? Which did they not touch? What can you conclude from this?
Make sure that you have magnifying glasses out at the science table so the children can get a closer look at what is going on. Also, make sure you leave the journal out for anyone to write their observations in. They have to write their name for any observation. They can draw the observation or write it; whichever they choose. Everyday, bring the journal to circle and discuss what everyone has observed and make some predictions based on those observations. Be sure to answer any predictions is possible (which food did they like the best?)
This activity works on critical thinking skills (predicting what will happen based on previous knowledge or observations) as well as writing skills, and interest in nature.

2. Another fun activity that I've done (and seen others do) is to get some ladybugs and put them in a clear tube. Tape a piece of black paper over one half of the tube and leave the other half open. Before placing the paper over the tube, have the children guess which side the ladybugs will like best: the dark or the light. Write these predictions down in a graph: one side list the children who say dark, the other side list the children who say light. Then, keep the tube, laying flat, on the science table with a journal. Let them write down their observations throughout the day and come back at the end of the day and discuss what they saw; or even the next day.
I like to let the ladybugs go after a day because they don't have any food or water in that tube. What's even more fun is that you can buy a box of ladybugs at the home and garden stores and use the few you need for the experiment (5-10) and let the rest go outside. They hang around for a while and the children love them!
This activity works with predictions and writing skills. It also works with math: graphing!, and of course, interest in nature.

3. I knew one teacher who got a sack of praying mantis eggs from the home and garden store. This was awesome! She had all the children predict how long it would be until the eggs would hatch and wrote this down on a paper she posted in the science area. She placed magnifying glasses on the table in the same area so that the children could go over and observe. This is also, as every activity, a great place for a journal for the children to write or draw what they observe. Everyday, they would revisit the table and chart and see if there were any baby praying mantis yet.
This activity helps develop language and writing skills, predictions, estimations, and, as always, interest in nature. This also helps develop understanding of time! They must predict how long: a day, hour, month, minutes. This is a great way to see who understands time. It would also be great to add a clock to the science table or, if you can find one that goes that far, a timer that counts up.

Does anyone have any other great bug activities?

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