Fall is around the corner. Students and teachers are back in school. Teachers, like students, are setting goals so that we can make this the best year possible for our students. One simple way to make the year better for our students, is to infuse each day with quality literature—not just during scheduled reading time. 100 Bugs! is a text that can be used throughout the elementary school day. This blogpost will highlight ways that 100 Bugs! can be used during K-5 math, science and writing blocks. In addition, I’ll talk about why 100 Bugs! is a perfect choice for book buddies. Common Core aligned PDFs featuring Suzanne Kaufman’s stunning art can be found for each activity by clicking the link. For ready-made click and print 100 Bugs! Common Core activities, please check out this link: http://www.katenarita.com/for-educators.html
MATH: BUG TEN FRAMES
Kindergartners and first graders have to master the various combinations of ten such as: nine and one, eight and two, seven and three etc… After reading 100 Bugs! aloud to the class, students can complete the Bug Ten Frames. There are ten frames for each combination of ten and each ten frame features a different insect. Also, you can choose between ten frames that feature the turn-around addition facts or ten frames that feature the addition and the subtraction fact families.
WRITING: LADDER STORIES
Kate Narita and Suzanne Kaufman use a ladder or mirror structure in their book. That means that the second half of the story repeats what happens in the first half of the story. So 100 Bugs! starts off with sun rising, the kids getting out of bed and then they find these combinations of bugs: 1 and 9, 2 and 8, 3 and 7, 4 and 6. At noon, they find the five and five combination. Then, what happens? The text climbs back down the ladder. The kids find these combinations: 6 and 4, 7 and 3, 8 and 2, 9 and 1. Next, there’s the final combination of 10 and 1, followed by the kids in bed, and the moon rising. Other examples of picture books with a ladder or mirror structure are: Madame Martine by Sarah Brannen, When the Rain Came Down by David Shannon, Boy + Bot by Ame Dyckman, A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip Stead and Old Bear and His Cub by Olivier Dunrea. Have students write their own stories using a ladder or mirror structure.
Have students build a bug with egg cartons, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, construction paper, toothpicks and other goodies. First, ask them to draw a picture of their new insect below. Remind them that all insects have a head, an abdomen and a thorax as well as six legs. Next, have them identify their bug’s super power. Finally, have them build their bugs!
MATH: BUGS MEASURE UP
The Bugs Measure Up pdf features each insect in the book. Students have to measure the bugs to the nearest ¼ inch, then plot the buggy measurements on a line plot.
WRITING: BUG DEBATE
Pesticides harm insects. The following information is directly quoted from The Environmental Protection Agency’s 2017 report which focuses on pesticide usage throughout the world from 2008-2012.
“U.S. pesticide usage totaled over 1.1 billion pounds annually in both 2011 and 2012, with herbicides accounting for nearly 50% of total U.S. pesticide usage in 2011 and nearly 60% of usage in 2012 (see Table 3. 1). On average across all reported years (2008-2012), U.S. pesticide use accounted for approximately 23% of total pounds of pesticides applied, 25% of total pounds of herbicides applied, 43% of total pounds of fumigants applied, 12% of fungicides applied, and 6% of insecticides applied worldwide.”
Ask your students whether or not they think the farm featured in 100 Bugs! uses pesticides, why or why not. Should farmers use pesticides, why or why not? Randomly divide up the class into two sides and have one side argue for the use of pesticides and the other side argue against the use of pesticides. Then, have them switch sides. After the debate, students can write a persuasive essay about why or why not farmers should use pesticides. I’ve included the persuasive essay planners I use in my classroom below. If you’re looking to further explore the pesticide issue with your students, Melissa Stewart’s, www.melissastewart.com, A Place for Butterflies and the other A Place for companion books, are excellent resources. I use them each year in my classroom to teach cause and effect as well as problem and solution nonfiction text structures.
SCIENCE: INSECT TRADING CARDS
Students use the 100 Bugs! back matter and the internet to complete the insect trading cards. They’ll find out the insects’ Latin names, their habitat and their super powers. Then, kids can create cards for two insects of their own choosing. In the end, they can trade and sort their cards. This is a great activity to have around for early finishers.
BOOK BUDDIES: BUG HUNT
Looking for a fun book buddy activity for the 100th day of school? Print out 100 copies of Suzanne Kaufman’s bugs and hang them up around your school. Then, give each younger student an array of 100 bugs which is also included in the pdf. The older students can help the younger students mark the corresponding bug off on the array when younger students find the bugs flying all over the hallway.
I hope these activities will make your and your students’ school year more enjoyable!
Author of 100 Bugs! A Counting Book
Illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman
Farrar Straus Giroux June 2018