Getting buggy with 1st grade

9 Mar
Anyone who has a 1st grader knows that back around winter break, it was ALL about caterpillars and butterflies as the 1st graders were waiting their little caterpillar friends hatch in the classroom.  Out in the garden with the 1st graders, we were learning about insects in general- about habitats, what defines an insect, etc. 
One rainy Friday, we took our garden lesson indoors and taught the 1st graders all about different insect mouth parts.  Better yet, we had them turn into insects and use their new mouth parts.  
Here’s a couple of new insects now- learning how to use their chewing mouth parts.  These insects have mandibles which can grab food, bring it close and tear it.  Our little chewing insects preferred the taste of little candies and were particularly adept at grabbing them and flipping them into their mouths.

Oh, and here is another insect who has a sucking mouth part.  These insects have long, thin tubes called proboscis that they insert and suck up liquid.  We were lucky enough to have some butterflies in this group drinking nectar, but also had some mosquitoes drinking blood. 

And here is our last group of insects with sponging mouth parts.  These insects like to dab their mouth parts on things and sponge them up- but beware because in order to make their sponging mouth parts work well, they spit on their food to moisten it.  Our little bugs decided to have a race to see whether those that spit pick up food better than those that don’t.  

 Our little bugs did a great job using their new mouth parts, but I’m sure their parents are relieved there won’t be any bug mouth parts coming to the dinner table. 

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