Wednesday, April 17, 2013

{insect invasion} mealworms, crickets, and caterpillars!

Well, we are officially opening up a zoo in Mrs. Lamb's class!
not really
but it feels that way
we have always used several insects for observation during our life cycle unit
it just seemed to happen all at once this year!
Everything came within 2 days
rather than spaced out like we had planned
but I am nothing if not flexible!

So first things first-we began with our mealworm study
the caterpillars were fine in their cup
the crickets were in the closet
and the incubator was warming up waiting on the eggs

I thought I would try to supply to with some management tips if you alo teach life cycles!
one: everything needs a home and a label!
all eggs get a number and an X and 0 for turning purposes

all mealworms are in a personal habitat labeled with parent names
these are solo cups and lids
I've had lots of inquiries! 

Caterpillars actually stay in the container they arrive in. If you order a butterfly kit, this is how it will arrive.
You transfer them to the butterfly tent when they form their chrysalis by attaching the paper towel to the side of the tent. 

and for the lap of luxury
here's the cricket condo!
We attached 2 liter bottles to each side of a central container
one side is filled with moist soil for egg laying (which was all day long!)
and the other with dry sand
if the middle is the "play area" or "living room" 
it just has paper towels and pieces of cardboard to prevent the inevitable cannibalism

now, don't get me wrong
it's a lot of work on my part
but if my class was a tad more well behaved, it would have been easy to do this with them!
they did set up their mealworm habitats
this is the creature they interact with the most
and they are by far the cleanest!
and they can survive falls from desks
and they can't hop too quickly to get away
you get the picture

so here's a peek at what we've done this week in science

these are our birth announcements
Next year I will do some for each insect
but this year they are all mealworms
these are included in my file as well as everything below

and lots of observing and recording

so if you'd like to observe some little creatures with a complete metamorphosis
mealworms are definitely the way to go!
widely available at your local pet store
cheap in large quantities
and clean and easy!
I'm also adding a few more ideas to my unit as we go
I keep finding new ways to explore these boogers
so snatch it up now!

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