Host a Bug Festival!
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Adopt-An-Insect Project Activity

For many years each fall, junior high students enjoyed a night searching for minibeasts to highlight the lessons and activities from the schoolwide Adopt-An-Insect project! We now coordinate this activity as one of our Science Club events and invite local bug experts to help the student identify their finds and parents volunteer to chaperone the big event. From fun bug games to prizes for the best bugs, everyone learns something new about the world of insects!  

Games & Activities ...

Mighty Bug Hunt
Jim Stoeckel, one of our bug experts, monitors one of the light traps with a junior high student during a "catch & release" hunt for insects. The light traps were created by draping a white sheet over a wooden clothes dryer. A battery-operated lantern was placed inside to provide light to attract a few critters. Students also monitored the other light traps in the schoolyard as well as a few pitfall traps that were baited with rotten fruit and pig manure. Visit the Insect Collection Idea page for more details!

Teacher Information:  Mighty Bug Hunt (pdf)

Six-Legged Race
Students compete in the "six-legged" race! Three students formed a six-legged team and raced to collect insect tokens that were scattered near the Nature Center. The tokens were created from small plastic coins with pictures of insects and other arthropods glued to them. Teams were penalized for collecting tokens that were not insects! 

Teacher Information:  Six-Legged Race (pdf)

Cocoon Challenge
Students tried their luck at the Cocoon Challenge! Each team had 5 minutes to turn each volunteer into a human cocoon with only 3 rolls of toilet paper! At the end of 5 minutes, the students voted to see which team had made the best cocoon.  

Teacher Information:  Cocoon Challenge (pdf)

Bug Juice Challenge
Armed with a straw for a proboscis and a container of "nectar" or juice, students competed to see who could slurp the juice the fastest! This was the favorite game of the night! Be sure to have enough "bug juice" for all the kids!

Teacher Information:  Bug Juice Challenge (pdf)

Fly-Copter Challenge
Students use a toy called a "flying dragonflies" to learn more about winged insects and try their skills at making it fly!  

Teacher Information:  Fly-Copters (pdf)

Camo Caterpillars
Students search an area of the schoolyard for caterpillars (colored pasta pieces) to investigate the use of camouflage in protecting them from predators.

Teacher Information:  Camo Caterpillars (pdf)

Insect Trivia Challenge
We start the evening with a test of the students' insect knowledge!  Students also had a chance to answer three challenging insect questions, which were used at the end of the night to award door prizes.

Student Worksheet:  Bug Festival Trivia (pdf)
Visit the Daily Science Trivia area for more Insect Trivia!

Weave-A-Web Challenge
Students work in teams to see which team can be the fastest "web weavers" in this fun challenge.

Teacher Information: Weave-A-Web (pdf)

Name That Bug ID Station
Bug experts and parent volunteers helped students ID the bugs they found using a variety of field guides and posters. Students were also able to test their knowledge of common insects of our area based on preserved insects, use a microscope to get a "bugs-eye" view of the little critters, and analyze samples of pond water to find larval and nymph stages of insects.

Tasty Treats - A hit every year!
The students love trying treats made with insects!  From chocolate covered crickets to BBQ flavored Larvets, the kids loved snacking on the critters. We also enjoy insect shaped cookies made by one of our local restaurants in town.

Equipment, Prizes, & More ...

Acorn Naturalists - Visit their website to find an assortment of insect-related materials and books.

Oriental Trading - A great site for prizes and toys for your bug festival! We love the see-thru bug jars (IN-59/1001) for holding insects while we identify them. They also have the Flying Dragonfly toys (: IN-16/164 ) used for the FlyCopter Challenge. Do a site search for “insects” to see all the neat items they have available!

Forestry Suppliers- Do a site search for insects to see all the equipment they have available! We buy all of our insect nets from this company and have had great luck with them. They hold up to repeated use by junior high students!

Do-It-Yourself Insect Collecting Equipment - Visit this page of my website to learn how to make your own equipment for catching insects. From light traps to Baked Potato Invertebrate Traps, you’ll find several neat contraptions to make for your Bug Festival.

Thank you to our bug experts and parent volunteers!

For more information about the Bug Festival, contact Mrs. Tracy (Trimpe) Tomm.



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The Science Spot was developed in March 1999 by Tracy Tomm Science Teacher @ Havana Junior High, Havana, IL.  Activities, lessons, & worksheets available on any page of this web site are intended for use by a single teacher in his/her classroom or to share at educational conferences.  Reproduction for commercial use or profit is not permitted without the consent of Tracy (Trimpe) Tomm. Visit my Frequently Asked Questions page for more details.