First graders at Indian Fields Elementary School have been very busy learning about living and nonliving things in science.

Students are learning to think like scientists as they use their observation skills to study the life cycle of ladybugs.  They also think about what the ladybugs need to stay alive.

Each of the first grade classes has a ladybug habitat.

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Ladybug larvae are delivered to the classrooms and placed in their homes.

A raisin and water is placed in the habitat, and students observe the behavior of the larvae.

The children observe and discuss the various stages of the life cycle and note their observations in a Life Cycle Journal.

“When the ladybugs arrived, we had to put the larvae in the ladybug lodge,” Sai, from Mrs. Wells’ class, said. “We observed the larvae and wrote down our ideas in our journals.  When I got home, I couldn’t wait to tell my mom about this project.”

Zayne, from Mrs. Kinsey’s class said, “It is cool to watch some of them crawling fast while others are still.”

Vedenth, from Ms. Petriello’s class said, “The ladybug larvae look like a bumble bee because they are black and yellow.”

To reinforce what students are observing, first grade teachers Terri Wells, Karen Kinsey, Laura Petriello and Patricia DelGuercio have read nonfiction books and poems about ladybugs.

Students are introduced to the features of nonfiction material including: table of contents, captions, and glossaries.

By reading nonfiction, students also learn the difference between a fact and an opinion.

From listening to books, Mridula, from Mrs. Kinsey’s class learned that “Ladybugs have inner wings.”

“I was surprised that ladybugs need drops of water,” Survani, from Mrs. DelGuercio’s class said. “I bet when they live in nature that they get water from ponds.  They need water to live just like us!”

Many students noted that the next stage they are looking for is the pupa stage.

Once that stage of development is reached, the ladybugs mature into adult ladybugs and break out of their “shell.”

The ladybugs will rest while their wings dry out, which will allow the ladybugs to fly.

When this happens, the first grade classes will release the ladybugs outside near the Indian Fields pond.

All students can agree after learning about ladybugs that insects are not icky!