We read Big Bug Surprise by Julia Gran (Scholastic Press, 2007). Prunella is excited about bugs, excited to tell people about bugs, and excited to bring a special bug to show-and-tell at her school. But her enthusiasm for spouting bug facts is meet by a repeated “Not now, Prunella!” from her parents, bus driver, and teacher. However, when a swarm of bees invades the classroom, Prunella saves the day with her quick thinking and vast knowledge of insect behavior.
For this project, we made binoculars, designed bugs, and created a habitat for said bug. Later, we hid the bugs outside the library for kids to “discover.” Then our camera crew interviewed the budding entomologists about their new find.
- 2 toilet paper tubes
- 1 rectangles of black construction paper (approximately 4″ x 6″)
- A selection of colored masking tape
- Hole punch
- 1 ribbon (approximately 33.5″ long)
- 1 toilet paper tube and/or 1 orange juice container cap
- A selection of patterned tape
- A selection of patterned paper and construction paper
- A selection of embossed foil paper
- A selection of pipe cleaners
- A selection of sparkle stems
- A selection of wiggle eyes
- A selection of self-adhesive foam shapes
- A selection of craft ties
- A selection of mini pom-poms
- A selection of small feathers
- Pieces of iridescent cello
- 1 box (I used a 7″ x 7″ x 3″ pastry box left over from this project)
- Brown and green construction paper for habitat
- Some fabric leaves
- Some fabric flowers
- Tape, scissors, white glue, glue sticks for construction
- Hot glue
- 1 news crew (more on that below!)
First, the binoculars. Wrap 2 toilet paper tubes with black construction paper. Then tape the top and bottom of the tubes together.
Bug-building was very simple. First, we offered kids a choice of bug body (a toilet paper tube or an orange juice container cap). Then we turned everyone loose on the art supplies. I had a hot glue gun ready to attach wiggle eyes (and whatever else was needed).
It’s difficult to see in this picture, but I had a lot of success layer iridescent cello over white construction paper to create sparkly bug wings. Quite a few kids replicated this.
I switched into my coat and “news” hat and assembled the camera crew. Mic in hand, I asked questions like “What is your bug’s name?” “What does your bug like to eat?” “Can you tell me a little more about its habitat?” “What sound does your bug make?”
You’ll find instructions for making this lovely handheld microphone, camera, and boom microphone set here (snazzy “News” fedora not included).