Friday, May 31, 2013

"Fireflies are Interesting Insects!"

As a year-end project, Trevor was assigned an at-home insect report.  His first grade teacher has been very focused on report-writing.  The children have written a report about once a month, researching, organizing facts, writing rough drafts, and editing.  I was eager to see how well Trevor would be able to put those things together without his teacher's guidance.

The first step was selecting an insect.  Trevor immediately chose the firefly.  They don't live around here; I've never seen one and neither has he.  Neither of us know much about them, so as far as I was concerned, this was an excellent topic.  We went to the library and came home with two books - one a very simple children's book and one that was more advanced.  I supervised as he read and then selected important facts - getting him to use his own words instead of copying from the book was, of course, a struggle.  I typed his facts into the computer, then showed him how to move the sentences around to make a coherent report.  When he liked the sentence order, he did a final edit for capitals and punctuation, ran a spell-check, and printed out the draft.  Then he copied it by hand.  That was the hardest part for him and he had to take several breaks.

  

Next was making a firefly to illustrate his report.  We each made one.  I can't resist doing an art project. This one is mine.


Materials: black construction paper, clear vellum, yellow cardstock, watercolor paper, paint (brown, black, yellow, orange, and red), yellow Stickles, a pencil, scissors, and glue.

We painted three sections on our watercolor paper - one for the body, one for the head, and one for the antennae and legs.  Each started with a base coat of brown, then streaks of black, red, orange, and yellow over that.

 
Then we smeared Stickles on some yellow cardstock.  



When both papers were dry, we cut out our pieces: a long oval for the body, a round head, two small circles for eyes, 6 legs, 2 antennae, and sparkly yellow hindquarters.

 
We cut wing shapes from vellum, then curled them slightly around a pencil.   
 
We added a bit of glue, then tucked the wings under the body.  The small amount of curl looked really cool.  Here's Trevor's:

 
Here is the scanned version.  

 

Trevor is very proud of his report and project.  And he's become a walking encyclopedia on the topic of fireflies.  Fireflies are indeed interesting insects!

6 comments:

  1. Good for him!! And loving your fireflies!! They look great!!!

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  2. Great job! The only time I ever did was at the 4-H center during Washington Focus. It must have been a challenge for a first grader to do a report on something you've never seen...I wonder what the other kids did.

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  3. Awesome report and project, Trevor! Thanks for sharing them with us, Cindy! I love fireflies! Sam and the Firefly was one of my favorite books!

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  4. We used to see fireflies a lot when I was growing up, but I haven't seen one in years. They are so much fun and so is this project. Trevor is pretty amazing!

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  5. Trevor is the cutest. I love that he is so eager to learn and make stuff! :) Cute firefly too!! :)

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  6. Amazing. The two of you have such great idea. I love the way you illustrated his report with the art project. Fireflies are abundant here. Watching and catching them is a childhood rite of passage.

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