The project-related language arts activities below are included to provide students with a way to practice both their creative and expository writing skills and, at the same time, process the information they gained as they worked through the project.
Students can use the writing and sketches from their macroinvertebrate identification reports to make their own field guide called "Macroinvertebrates of (name of pond). Point them to the "Bucket Buddies" Reference Materials page where they will find resources to help them make additional annotations about the organisms.
Students can read what other students have written or submit a work of their own to River of Words, an International Art and Children's Environmental Poetry Program sponsored by the Library of Congress. Children in grades K-12 express, through poetry and art, what they discover in their local watersheds.
Students will enjoy writing and acting out an interview with one of the organisms they have identified or studied. The interview script can be humorous, even silly, but it must incorporate at least 5 questions and answers that are based on fact. For a good example see The Yuckiest Site on the Internet.
Inspire students to write and illustrate their own riddles by reading selections from these books.
- Bernstein, Joanne and Paul Cohen. Creepy, Crawly Critter Riddles. (Albert Whitman & Co, 1987).
- Hall, Katy and Lisa Eisenberg. Buggy Riddles (Puffin, 1993).
Since many of the macroinvertebrates your class identified were insects, your students will enjoy meeting Charlie and Amanda, the main characters in the books below. Have students compose journal entries comparing the two.
- McDonald, Megan. Insects Are My Life (Orchard Books,1995) Amanda Frankenstein adores insects so much that she tries to act like one. She collects them observes them, reads about them, and even writes poems about them. Find out how Amanda's classmates and family react to her hobby.
- Sonenklar, Carol. Bug Boy (Henry Holt & Co, 1997) Third grader, Charlie, whose passion for insects has earned him the nickname,"Bug Boy," discovers that his new Bug-A-View has magical powers that can change him into a bug and back into a boy again. Share Charlie's amusing, and sometimes scary adventures, as he turns into a variety of insects and almost gets stuck as one!
Read -Aloud Books for Younger Students
- George, Lindsay. Around the Pond : Who's Been Here? (Greenwillow, 1996). Cammy and William follow an old deer path around the pond in search of blueberries. But unexpectedly they find a lot more.
- Fleming, Denise. In the Small, Small Pond. (Henry Holt, 1993) Caldecott Honor book
- Leach, Ann. Oh Doug! A Dragonfly's Day (Take Flight Publications, 1999). This is the story of Doug, a young dragonfly who wants to be anything except who he truly is.
- Lively, Penelope. One, Two, Three, Jump. (Margaret McElderry, 1999). A dragonfly helps a young frog find just the right place to live.