We discussed and reviewed the life cycle of a ladybug from our previous lesson.I wanted the students to have some type of schema in preparation for our ladybug habitat delivery. You would have thought they were expecting a new sibling, every day I was asked if our package had arrived! Once it finally arrived, I passed the tube containing the larva around so that each student could take a closer look observing the larva in the tube before we placed them in the habitat. I have to admit that I saw some funny reactions as witnessed in this video, Observing just received larva.
We received our ladybug habitat from Insect Lore. The students were excited, but I wanted a way for them to observe, as scientists do, the changes in the specimens over time. I created My Ladybug Journal, giving my students a place to write, as well as illustrate their findings. Here is a Ladybug observation sample journal page. I could have added the larva to the habitat myself, however, the students took turns adding the larvae a few at a time, while other students observed the larvae being added to the habitat, this made for a more student centered, student invested lesson.
The students in my class all have a number, which makes life easier when grading papers, distributing and collecting homework, etc. The even numbers observed on even numbered days and the odd numbers on the odd numbered days. My students took about 5 minutes, for a little over two weeks, to observe, and document the changes that they saw here are two students observing ladybugs and documenting. This next picture was taken by one of my students who insisted on documenting the Larvae in the habitat by taking a picture home to his family on his phone!
It was extremely exciting to see students so engrossed in the changes that were happening during the life cycle. They took it upon themselves to share their findings with their classmates and their family members. This lesson was very effective because my students experienced the science instead of just reading about it. The lessons in this unit were such a success that I plan on teaching this unit again next year.