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Borror, Donald J. and Richard E. White. A Field Guide to Insects.
Houghton Mifflin Company, 1970.
Callahan, Philip S. Insects and How They Function. Holiday
Facklam, Howard and Margery. Insects. Twenty-First Century
Greenaway, Theresa. Insects. St. Martin's Press, 2000.
McGavin, George C. Insects of North America. Thunder Bay
Mound, Laurence. Insect. Dorling Kindersley, 2000.
Preston-Mafham, Rod and Ken Preston-Mafham. The Natural History
of Insects. The Crowood Press, 1996.
Souza, D. M. Insects Around the House. Carolrhoda Books,
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Trautmann, Nancy M. and Marianne E. Krasny. Composting in the
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Publishing Company, 1998.
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of Harvard University Press, 1971.
TINY CREATURES SERIES
HONEY, I SHRUNK THE KIDS!
Most students have seen the movie "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids"
where an inventor's children are accidentally shrunk to the size
of insects and the kids experience exciting adventures in the "micro-wilderness"
of their backyard. Begin your study of TINY CREATURES by asking
students to imagine (and write if you'd like) what life would be
like as one of the tiny animals you will be studying. You can assign
different students to imagine being different tiny creatures and
ask them to role-play what would happen if they met each other,
how they relate in the ecosystem, how predator-prey relationships
affect them, and how they relate to human beings.
KWHL: INTRODUCTION TO TINY CREATURES
No matter which "tiny creature" you wish to study, use
the KWHL technique to organize your study. Begin by asking students
to brainstorm (and list on the chalkboard): 1) what they KNOW already
about the particular animal, 2) what they WONDER or WANT to learn
about the animal, 3) HOW they might learn more about the animal,
and finally, as a review after the unit, 4) what they were able
to LEARN about the topic.
"SHOW AND TELL" GLOSSARY
To help students prepare for the vocabulary words that are included
in the TINY CREATURES videos, assign each student one of the words
in the glossaries provided for each program. Ask them to SHOW and
TELL what their vocabulary word means by creating a large poster
explaining in words and also illustrating in a drawing or sketch
the definition of their term. Have students share these posters
with the class. When the vocabulary terms come up during the video,
you might wish to stop the video to refer students to the appropriate
poster to remind them of the definition, and invite the student
who prepared the poster to help explain his or her word.
THE SCIENCE OF TINY CREATURES
Introduce students to the scientific classification of the eight
animals featured in the TINY CREATURES series. Begin with the giant
category of the Animal Kingdom, and then go through superphylum
(arthropods), phylum, superclass, class, order, suborder, family,
genus and down to species. Refer to this classification system when
introducing each new program subject.
Ever heard of the black bulldog ant of Australia, a Hercules beetle,
a thorn bug, or a no see-um? Visit http://www.si.edu/resource/faq/nmnh/buginfo/incredbugs.htm
and learn about some unique insects. Develop a poster with a picture,
interesting trivia and facts about your "incredible creature"
to share with your class.
WRITING AND SPEAKING PROMPTS
Ask students to use the following Writing and Speaking Prompts to
demonstrate their knowledge about tiny creatures:
Expository: Explain how one of these tiny creatures both helps
and hurts humans.
Imaginative: Imagine what would happen if one of these tiny creatures
Descriptive: Describe "a day in the life of" one of the
tiny creatures featured in this series.
Persuasive: Persuade the reader why these tiny creatures are important
in the ecosystem.
Narrative: Tell the story of the life cycle of one of these tiny
Invite a biologist or an entomologist to your classroom to discuss
his or her work and the particular tiny creatures and insects that
live in your community. What special challenges (pesticides, habitat
destruction, real estate development, introduction of new species,
global warming, etc.) are these creatures facing at the current
time? What kinds of actions can citizens take to help protect these
creatures in your community?
THE BALANCE OF NATURE
As a way to culminate the study of the role of tiny creatures in
the ecosystem, ask students to respond in writing to, and give specific
examples that support or refute, the following statement by naturalist
Rachel Carson in "Silent Spring" (1962):
"The balance of nature is
a complex, precise, and highly
integrated system of relationships between living things which cannot
safely be ignored any more than the law of gravity can be defied
with impunity by a man perched on the edge of a cliff."