Teaching Life Science with Children’s Literature: Bugs Are Insects


Introduction and Summary
Bugs Are Insects written by Anne Rockwell explains what an insect really is and how to look for them in your own backyard and identify them.  Simply put, “Anything that has six legs and three body parts is an insect.”  The book talks about external and internal skeletons, how some insects have two sets of wings, and they come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. The book also shares with us that “We sometimes call bugs insects. Many people think the two words mean the same thing, but they don’t.”  Insects have different types of jobs like grasshoppers use their legs to make music, bees use their skill to build honeycombs of wax, ants build tunnels, and crickets have long legs to jump.  At the end of the book an index is provided of all the technical names for all of the bugs and insects pictured in the book as well as activities to do to go along with the book. I think the most interesting part of the book is where they explain that a ladybug is not actually a bug, like their name says.  Ladybugs are actually beetles. It also describes and shows that ladybugs have two sets of wings, and that it makes a straight line down the top of the abdomen on a ladybug when the wings are closed. This book provides very basic knowledge about insects and makes it fun!

Curriculum Connections
This book would be great at showing students the physical characteristics of bugs and insects including their body shape, what they use to move around (wings, legs etc.), and how many body parts they have (VA SOL 1.5 b).  This book could also be used to show how bugs and insects evolve and change over time, the work they do and how it effects us as humans and our world, and that some insects and bugs resemble their parents (VA SOL 2.4a, 2.5a).

Additional Resources
Bug Food-This website provides a look at how we as humans eat bugs and insects. It tells how everyday normal food that we eat can contain bugs and insects, as well as giving ideas of how to make your own bug food fin the classroom.
2.Bug and Insect Bingo– This website offers a bug Bingo game to play in class.  You can chose the type of insects you want to include, or mix it with bugs and insects and then talk about which 3 are not insects.
3. Name That Bug– Name That Bug game gets you guessing what type of bug it could be by descriptions of the bug or insect. They give you four clues to guess what the bug is, and then after guessing it gives you some historical or fun information and facts about the bug or insect.

General Information
Bugs Are Insects
Author:Anne Rockwell
Illustrator:Steve Jenkins
Publisher:Harper Collins
Publication Date:2001
Grade Range:1st through 3erd
ISBN: 0064452034

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