Since our nature study on grasshoppers, my children have become more aware of the little creeping and crawling things that are around them and our little bug catcher has been getting daily use. On our adventure, we have found geckos, spiders and butterflies, just to name a few, but my children took an instant liking to the ladybug we found. Here are a few activities we have done while learning about the life cycle of a ladybug.
I was bring in the dry laundry from the clothesline when I spotted a ladybug crawling on one of the items of clothing. So we grabbed our bug catcher and put the ladybug in it and began observing. My son immediately noticed that the ladybug wasn't red and proposed a question asking why the ladybug wasn't red.
Questions and Hypothesis
My son first made a hypothesis in that he thought the ladybug might be yellow because it hadn't had enough sunlight. From the proposed question, it led us to books in order to research the question and to check the hypothesis.
We used the book From Grub to Ladybug by Melvin and Gilda Berger, to research for information together. This book is fantastic as my son could read the information for himself and make his own conclusions and discoveries. He learnt that ladybugs have yellow soft wings when they first hatch from the pupa. So my son made the conclusion that this ladybug was indeed newly hatched!
I encouraged my son to do further research on ladybugs by using our book The Wonderland of Nature by Nuri Mass. This book also talked about the life cycle of a ladybug which got my son thinking about how a ladybug changes during their life time. So I pulled out my montessori inspired cards, that I had previously made, and my son get busy independently learning.
I had made these cards (sharing a link to my printable at the end of this post) based on the Safari Ltd Life Cycle of a Ladybug set I had purchased from IQToys. These icons are absolutely brilliant as they are very durable for little hands as well as giving so much detail that they almost appear life-like. My son matched them up to the cards and information.
My sons continued his learning by drawing and labeling a diagram of a ladybug. He had tried to use the ladybug in our bug catcher to draw from but he found it hard as the ladybug kept moving. So he used the pictures in our books to draw from.
I suggested to my son that he writes a short report on what he has learnt about ladybugs and he has started a draft copy of this. But what I love how this topic, like many other child-led learning activities we have done, it covers a wide range of subject areas.
If you would like a copy of my Montessori inspired three-part cards, you can download them from here. If you would like to see more activity ideas on life cycles and animals, pop over and visit my pinterest board.
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