Tuesday, March 5, 2013


In my first grade classroom, we are learning about insects and their life cycles. My kiddos get to observe multiple types of insects to see if they fit into the complete or incomplete life cycle category. I also made sure that we had similar insects so we could use Venn Diagrams to compare and contrast each other.
The children are always eager for science time and run into class in the morning to see if their insects have changed. Being a science nerd myself (studied BioChem/BioPhysics in college before pursuing a teaching degree), this is one of my favorite parts of the day.
The children have been comparing mealworms to waxworms, and silkworms to caterpillars. All 4 of these are complete life cycle insects. Our incomplete life cycle insect is our crickets. The children have observed, documented, and predicted what will happen with our crickets.
"We have little crickets and king crickets in our habitat."
"I just saw a big cricket eating another cricket. I think they are meat eaters."

"It looks like the big crickets are having a meeting in the kitchen area. Look at all of them!"

The observations fly around the room and the energy and excitement are palpable. I rove around the room, listening to observations, pointing out things to look at, and asking for their predictions. 6 year old brains/eyes pick up different things then mine do.

"Mrs. G, Look! I think that our crickets are in the nymph stage. This one is molting it's skin. Look! Look!"

I quickly hustled across the classroom. How often do you actually get to see a cricket mid-molting?

Not only was our cricket molting, but it was a different color too. Had we come across an albino cricket? Was that even possible? We all stopped what we were doing while I took a picture. I'm so glad that I did...because 3/4 of the class would have missed this process. I quickly uploaded the picture so we could all observe it under the document camera. We made predictions.

"I think that it's done with the nymph stage and is now an adult...that's why it's white."

"I think that it is going to change colors like our mealworm beetles."

"I think that it's camouflaging itself for the sand."

I love when I'm able to give children the chance to explore their own thinking. The children could not wait to check on their cricket the next morning. The cricket had changed back its dark color but the wings took several days to change. Yet another day of exploring and analyzing in our room.


  1. Science happening right in front of their very noses, how awesome is that?! I love that you shared their first grader's conversations.

  2. What a great learning experience for your kids! They will always remember these cycles of insects because they watched them happen. This is the way to make learning come alive. So cool about the cricket!

  3. Exploring and analyzing, - love that combo. What a rich experience you've created here.