Mrs. McGowan's First Grade Class
H. W. Mountz Elementary School
Spring Lake, New Jersey

Mrs. McGowan’s First Grade

Ladybug Study

Ladybird Beetles
Red, tiny
Flying, crawling, munching
They eat many aphids.

Diamante Class Poem by Mrs. McGowan’s First grade 2008


This year we began a new science unit on insects.  We studied mealworms, waxworms, crickets, silkworms, milkweed bugs, butterflies and ladybugs.  The ladybugs or ladybird beetle larvae were kept in a little container with their food.  Only water had to be added to the habitat, a few drops at a time. 

ladybug land

 We kept a log to record their growth and how they seemed to change.  The larvae looked like little alligators!  Changing to pupae, they clung to the sides of the container for a few days before emerging as tiny orange-colored beetles.  By the following day we could see the spots and the hard shell was more red than orange.

In comparison to the butterfly life cycle, the ladybugs were harder to see because of their size and they didn’t fly around the container like the butterflies.  After a few days, the ladybugs were released on to a flowering bush.  Although they were not as visually interesting as the butterflies, our students learned several new facts about ladybugs.   We had a good selection of books in the classroom and Internet websites to use as resources.


Learning Objectives

Activities:  Choose 1 or more for each objective

Students will identify the four stages of the ladybug life cycle

o     Show life cycle stages using Kidspiration interactive chart on Smartboard

o     Draw and label a picture showing lifecycle

o     Make a lifecycle model

o     Dramatize the lifecycle


Students will know at least 4 important facts about ladybugs


o     Tell about ladybugs

o     Write about ladybugs; make a list



o     Extension: Include ladybug (s) in a creative writing piece



Paper models and drawing of ladybug lifecycle





Jackby Jack B.

All of the children created a story about an imaginary butterfly and some chose to publish their writing. Fiona’s story was planned with a 4-square organizer.  She illustrated it in Paint.


by Fiona

Jakaroo the ladybug is as weird as my three brothers.  It is her first day of school. She broke her arm by falling off a house and she had to go to the hospital to get a cast.

Her mom and Dad were so worried that they started crying too.  After two weeks, she got better and was fine.



by Matthew

One day a ladybug named Buster went to his friend Bob the frog’s house.  It was his first time.  Buster did not know that a spider lived there too. It took a while to get there because the sidewalk was so big.

Finally Buster was there.  The spider opened the door and got him!  But the frog was watching and ate the spider.  Buster was FREE!




by Lily

Lily's Ladybug


  Kaite was a beautiful ladybug. 
One time, she went to the New York beach.  Kaite wanted to go into the ocean.
     Kaite said the ocean was the coolest thing she had ever done.  She wanted to do it again and again and again.  WOW!
     When Kaite went out into the ocean, she went too far away from me.  She got lost in the ocean.  Oh, no!
     When she floated away, I swam after her.  Then I finally got her.  We lay on the beach together.  It was a great day!

A final assessment was done with each student using a Kidspiration template. The talking interface was available. This is a very simple drag and drop activity that shows how alternative assessment can be done on the computer.

kidspiration diagram

You can download this Kidspiration file:


* Books we used:

Insects  - Delta Education
Beetles – Claire Llewellyn
The Best Book of Bugs - Claire Llewellyn
 Ladybugs - Margaret Hall
Ladybugs: Red, Fiery, and Bright - Mia Posada

*The curriculum materials included with this project were so helpful and interesting.  Thanks to all the story writers and online activity creators!

*These sites also were helpful to our study:

©  Susan Silverman and Sarah McPherson 2007