Thursday, February 5, 2009


Oh yes, the bugs are thriving in the second grade!

The kids put together amazing habitats for our milkweed bugs. (I mean, I taught them how to do it, and I learned it from our FOSS curriculum.) They look so cool. Here they are:

They feature all the things insects need to live:

  1. Air: in the form of 100 holes poked with a pushpin.
  2. Water: in a very cool reservoir with a paper towel wick. Please note that there is a tube on the drinking fountain that comes out a hole in the plastic bag. Using a syringe, we can put more water in the reservoir without opening the bag. This means the milkweed bugs don't escape.
  3. Food: in the form of a little mesh bag of sunflower seeds. The little buggers love them.
  4. Space: to climb around on, from the twigs put together with rubber bands. This keeps the bag open. A cotton ball is attached to the twigs. This is where they will lay their eggs.
Cool, no?

Even cooler is the pulley system I invented. The habitats hang down from a rope that stretches across the classroom. They are too high for the kids to see well, so I rigged up some little pulleys, using string and paper clips. We can lower the habitats when they want to observe them, and then raise them back up out of the way of our heads.

Here are some of our little milkweed bug nymphs.

I told you they love those seeds!

And now, see what arrived today.

Can you guess what it is? A hint: as an adult, it will be red with black spots.

PS. We also have waxworms in nearly all the stages of their life cycle: larva, pupa, and adult moth. But they are pretty gross. Cool in a creepy way, but not as fun to take pictures of.

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