Insects are an integral part of our everyday world, having existed for over 300 million years; they are the most common animal on our planet, and there are more types of them than every other animal combined. Insects and other critters are crucial to plant life—aerating the soil, depositing nutrients, eating other animals that harm plants— but because of their often creepy reputation, they tend to be overlooked in the classroom.
Bees, specifically, are much more important than many people realize. They not only create delicious honey, but are responsible for the pollination of new plants. Without them, Earth with be a barren place. To help stimulate curiosity in our future bee enthusiasts, your little ones observed real deceased bees with a magnifying glass. Doing so educated your budding entomologists about the importance of honey bees in our lives and the need to understand and embrace them through their continued sustainability.
Exposure to insects and small garden animals promotes focused observation and data collection. In addition, children can practice using the tools needed to gather and convey new discoveries. They can use the language of measurement; compare, contrast, and classify; and engage in the charting and graphing of eating and growth patterns as they interact with and care for their critters.
Exploring insects and small garden creatures in the classroom addresses National Science Education Standards by allowing children to develop a concrete understanding of the characteristics of common organisms, gain knowledge about life cycles, and acquire insight into how animals and the environment work as a system.