Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Getting started

Well, I'm finally getting started on the Ladybug project. I teach second grade in central New York and Ladybugs are a part of our science curriculum. There's a strong possibility that I'll be teaching computer classes next year instead of second grade which I think will be a fun change of pace. Because of this possible change I've decided I need to become more proficient in using PowerPoint and I need to learn how to use our interactive whiteboard in our computer lab.

So, I'm combining all this into my unit. I'm working on a PowerPoint presentation to introduce the unit on the interactive whiteboard. I want the children to research the life cycle of the ladybug and learn the names of its body parts. My goal is to have links on the PowerPoint to pictures of projects that have been done previously to give the children some ideas on what they can do. (Songs, reports, PowerPoints, drawings, poetry, puppet shows) Being able to select how to research and how to do a presentation on their own is a new concept! However, I think this time of year will be a great time to give it a try. In central New York we're in school until June 22, so keeping the kids involved in learning can be a challenge at times. I haven't been observed yet so I asked my principal today if will observe my introductory lesson when I'm ready and he said he would.

We can get ladybugs with our science kits but they come as adults so basically we watch them crawl around and then die. So, this year I'm going to order the larva through a website so we can observe more of the life cycle. We watched monarch caterpillars in the fall so that will be a nice connection.

If anybody has any other ideas for me I'd be happy to hear them.



S McPherson said...

These sound like great ideas. I wondered about the science kits for ladybugs - getting the larvae is a good idea. I'm sure they are quite small so maybe you can use a microscope for the children to see them better. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

Susan Silverman said...

Since you studied butterflies in the fall, it would be a nice review to watch the metamorphosis again. When I taught second grade June was a great time to find black swallowtail caterpillars on carrot tops. All you need is a large jar, dirt on the bottom, a stick for the caterpillar to climb on and fresh carrot tops for food. I used to use large mayo or pickle jars. Remember to poke holes on the top for air.
The kids can watch the whole process and will find a beautiful butterfly! Once the wings dried we went outside, and the butterfly walked on my finger and flew away.
It would be great for the kids to compare the life cycle of the butterfly and ladybug.
If your jar is real big it will fit a few black swallowtail caterpillars.
Have fun!
P.S. Photograph the caterpillars every day and post them on Flickr. Send your pictures to our group pool and people can comment.

Anonymous said...

I received two sets of ladybugs - one set got lost in the mail and didn't survive the trip. The other set died within a day. They finally sent me a tube with about 10 larva - this was so exciting! The children loved to watch the cycle - we could see the pupa bouncing before they hatched. I think I'll ask for larva next year and buy live adults from the garden store!

S McPherson said...

Persistence seems to have paid off. I'm sure the children will have a positive exciting experience. Are you working with this in summer school?