Sunday, May 22, 2011

Nature Study: Pill Bugs

Nothing like a small crustacean crawling across your playroom floor to bring about a great homeschool lesson! While J5 was playing the other day, he found a bug making its way - I'm guessing to some place dryer than where he came from. The amount of rain we've had this spring is staggering. Our ever-inquisitive boy decided to catch him. I offered up a box and from there it snowballed.

E12 helps J5 to secure some grass and rocks for the pill bug's habitat.

R10 offers a flower- always concerned with the artsy environment!

The finished habitat- note the rock with water on it so he can sip and the "rotting vegetation" in the corner.

Once the kids had placed the pill bug in its new home, I told them they need to find out what he eats and what sorts of thing pill bugs like. Everyone had a turn and did you know that Pill Bugs eat rotting vegetation? Out the door they went and in came some leaf matter.

Great resource for nature study in general is the One Small Square series- in here we found information about pill bugs on the "Litter Bugs" page. These books have super illustrations and J5 loves to spend time looking at all the different levels in his own backyard.

E12 learned that pill bugs are only true rollie pollies if they curl into a ball. Otherwise, I guess they are posers! But I couldn't tell you what kind. This one rolled up, but he was tiny. Must have been fairly new in the world. It's a shame he found his way to the desert known as our carpeting. Pill bugs are the only crustaceans that live outside of water as adults. We learned all kinds of things about our friend and of course we did a nature journal page. Should have gotten a picture. We used a page from I'll come back and add that I think. It's late and I haven't posted since Thursday so it's time!

What a great lesson today and all because I said yes to a bug pet for the day. Our little bug was a bit too manhandled or else he succumbed to the ill-effects of desert travel. Either way he only lasted the day. However, today he found a larger one and freshened up the habitat.

Stay tuned for a fine journal entry and more information on pill bugs!

1 comment:

Molly said...

We call them roly poly bugs. i have loved them since i was a little girl. so blessed that God gave me boys to enjoy bugs with. thanks for a great nature study idea.