Making Insects and Plants Fun
My students and I have had so much fun studying insects and plants this quarter that I wanted to share it with all of you. We have done hands on experiments (which my students LOVED), we have also done a lot of reading and writing activities around our experiments. We even found a way to make the reading, and writing part fun so that my students were able to research their favorite insects.
How do you get students to read about science, when all they want to do is the experiment?
I’m always looking for creative teaching ideas when it comes to integrating science into reading and writing. For past blogs on this click here. I love having my students use hands on science experiments, but the experiments don’t typically have a lot of reading or writing activities attached to them. One method I’ve been using lately is incorporating informational texts about our scientific topics into our reading. My class is still able to do their fun experiments, and don’t feel like they’re missing out on science time because they are reading during reading time.
Hands on Insects and Plants Observations
This quarter my students focused on insects and plants for our second grade science lessons. We have had so much fun learning about all of the ways that insects and plants work together. First we observed insects in our classroom. We also planted seeds, and later replanted them outdoors. Each week, we observed our insects as well as our plants, and recorded our observations. In addition, we learned about the specific qualities that make insects different from other types of bugs.
How do you make science research fun?
One way I get my students to enjoy doing research projects is by turning them into projects versus papers. My students still have to do the writing, and source citing, but they do it inside of an actual project. This makes them write with a specific purpose – which takes some of the pain out of it.
For our insects project, my students continued their learning at home. They created a brochure about their favorite insect. When they were done, they presented their brochure to the class. My students were very proud with how their brochures turned out. If you want more information on this unit – including the directions, rubric, and informational texts click here for my full Understanding Insects and Plants unit.
When it was time, we released our insects into nature – just as we replanted our seedlings when they were ready to thrive outdoors. These are pictures from our butterfly release.
For more creative teaching ideas, check out these blogs below.