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Lesson plan: Ladybugs

Now that Spring has officially arrived, we should be seeing some warm weather in Boston.  It is the perfect time for those of you who love to garden to begin thinking about planting.  And what garden doesn't love lady bugs?

The lady bug could be considered a gardener's best friend, and they are sure loved by children, as well.  Here are some preschool activities to use for your lady bug, gardening, bug, or Spring theme.

Arts & Crafts:

1. Create a ladybug by gluing cardstock or construction paper pieces that were pre-cut by an adult. 

2. Create a ladybug using an egg carton.  Cut out a single cup and ask the children to paint the entire cup red.  Once dry, use black paint or a black marker to make the spots.  You could use a black pom pom for the head and black pipe cleaner for the antennae.  You can use googly eyes, as long as they are not a choking hazard for young children.  You could also leave out the black pom pom for the head and paint eyes on the egg carton.  You will need to poke holes into the side of the egg carton cups and insert black pipe cleaner into the holes to make the ladybugs legs.  Each ladybug should have 3 legs on each side.

3.  Take the children on a nature walk in search of rocks.  Let the children choose a rock that they can use to make a Ladybug rock.  The children can paint the rocks red and add some black dots.  Use pipe cleaners for the antennae and googly eyes.

Math & Science:

1. Make ladybugs using cardstock or construction paper or print clip art from the computer.  Put one spot on two of the wings, put two spots on two of the wings, put three spots on two of the wings, etc.  Only attach one wing to the ladybug, allowing the children to find the wing that matches by counting the number of spots.  The children could then put the ladybugs in order by counting the number of spots and determining which has the fewest and which ladybug has the most spots.

2. Make ladybugs using cardstock or construction paper or print clip art from the computer.  Have one with red wings, another with blue wings, another with yellow wings etc.  You could do the matching game as stated above by asking the children to match the attached wing with the unattached wing by color.  Or you could make two of each color ladybug and ask the children to match the two ladybugs.

3. Make ladybugs using cardstock or construction paper or print clip art from the computer of different sized ladybugs.  Ask the children to put the ladybugs in order by size.

Pretend Play:

1.  Create a garden using a cardboard box and some "flowers". You can make tissue paper flowers or buy some inexpensive plastic ones.  Glue or tape the flowers inside the cardboard box.  Include some other gardening tools and a watering can.  Each day insert some paper ladybugs, and watch how excited the children get when they find a ladybug in the garden.

Music & Movement:

Five Little Ladybugs

Five little ladybugs climbing up a door,
One flew away and then there were four.

Four little ladybugs sitting on a tree,
One flew away and then there were three.

Three little ladybugs landed on a shoe,
One flew away and then there were two.

Two little ladybugs looking for some fun,
One flew away and then there was one.

One little ladybug sitting in the sun,
She flew away and then there were none.

Books:

- The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle
- Ten Little Ladybugs by Melanie Gerth and Laura Huliska-Beith

Field Trips:

- Check out the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, which is located in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Be sure to check out this cute Ladybug invitation at See Shell's Designs.

Additional Reading:

Ladybugs.org

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