Mrs. Madden's Class
Second Grade
Brushy Creek Elementary
Taylors, South Carolina


As soon as the weather began to get warmer, we started noticing lots of signs of Spring around our community.  Flowers were blooming, trees were growing new leaves, people were flying kites, and insects were being found.  Everyday on the playground, someone in our class finds some sort of creepy crawly, like beetles, caterpillars, and ladybugs.  This led to our study of insects – we found these small animals to be very interesting!

To begin our study, we explored what makes an animal an insect.  We learned that all insects have three main body parts.  Here’s a song we sang to help us remember these parts:


(Tune:  For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow)

My head is starting to wiggle

My head is starting to wiggle

My head is starting to wiggle…

Around, and around, and around.

(Repeat, substituting head with the other parts: thorax and abdomen)

When singing this song, we worked in groups of three.  The first student was the head, the second student was the thorax, and the third student was the abdomen.  By using three students, we had an instant insect…complete with six legs!!


Sometimes we got confused about the order of the three body parts.  We knew the head came first, but the thorax and abdomen were hard to remember…until Mrs. Madden showed us a trick to help.


 If you place the body parts in the wrong order (Head, Abdomen, and Thorax) – your insect will be wearing a HAT and insects never wear hats!!


After learning the characteristics of insects, Mrs. Madden gave each student a bag of yummy treats to use in making their own insect.  The bags included 3 large marshmallows, six pretzel sticks, two small pieces of licorice, 2 potato chips, and lots of peanut butter.  She told us beforehand that the peanut butter was for helping our insect parts stick together, but that was the only information she would give us.  We had to use our knowledge (and the chart we made the previous day) to decide which “treats” should make which parts of the insect. 

Body Part



Abdomen 1 1
Legs 2 6
Arms 2 0
Wings 0 2
Thorax 0 1
Head 1 1
Antennae 0 2

Although there were lots of different strategies at the beginning, we finally were able to decide just how to build our insect correctly.

During writing workshop, we used story starters to help us begin writing creative stories about the insects we were studying.

The Magic Anthill
By Dylan

One day I found an anthill.  It was fun watching the ants come and go.  I sat by the anthill for a long time.  It had ants coming and going.  I saw a few ants carrying a potato chip.  It was fun to watch them take it into the anthill.  But when they got it half way in, it got stuck.  So all the ants came out and sat on it.  It fell in very fast.  I wanted to see if it made it all the way in, so I peeked in.  Then all of a sudden, I turned into an ant.  I walked right into the anthill.  It was a very tight space.  I saw little rooms.  In one room I saw a lot of crumbs and seeds for the ants to eat.  In another room I saw a queen ant.  It was the biggest ant I’ve ever seen.  In the room with the queen ant there were other ants carrying eggs out of the room.  They took them to another room where other ants were taking care of them.  Then I began to think maybe all the ants were really people, like me.  All at once every ant went out of the anthill, so I went too.  We went to some people having a picnic.  Every ant started to pick up crumbs, so I did too.  We went single file back to the anthill.  Right as I was about to go into the hill, I turned into a person again.  I said, “Boy! What a fun adventure!”


By Chadi

When I first heard the word dragonfly, I imagined what one would look like.  Let me describe the appearance of my dragonfly…I thought that it was a dragon who could fly.  I also thought fire came out of his nose and mouth.  I once thought that it would be big enough for me to fly on.  I thought they were green, blue, yellow, purple, and orange.  Then one day my mom showed me what a dragonfly looked like.  Now I know what a dragonfly really looks like.

Betty Butterfly’s Party
By Catherine

 “How can I tell Grassy Grasshopper to watch his manners?” thought Ladybird Beetle.  “I really don’t want him spitting on my floor, especially during the birthday party that I’m giving Betty Butterfly.”  Maybe I should tell Grassy Grasshopper to stop spitting on my floor or he doesn’t get to go to Betty Butterfly’s birthday party!  So Ladybird Beetle went to Grassy Grasshopper’s house and climbed up on the leaf.  But when she got to the top…he wasn’t there!  “Oh my goodness,” cried Ladybird Beetle, “he’s not home.  But where could he be?”  Suddenly Lucy Ladybug ran from out behind a bush and said, “I saw him on a butterfly, headed north!”  “But …but why would Grassy Grasshopper do something like that?”  “Maybe you hurt his feelings.”  “Hurt his feelings?  If I hurt his feelings then I’ll have to say sorry!”  Just then, a butterfly flew down and said, “I know where they went.  I saw them in the treetops.  I’ll take you there!”  So Ladybird Beetle and the butterfly flew over the Grassy Grasshopper.  “Grassy Grasshopper, I’m sorry.  Can you come to the party?” asked Ladybird Beetle.  “Sure I can!” said Grassy Grasshopper.  The next day was the party.  Grassy Grasshopper was the first insect there and he didn’t spit on the floor!

During our research time, we found some amazing insect facts.  We illustrated some of our favorites in Kid Pix Deluxe.  Here are just a few:





At the end of our study, we voted on our LEAST favorite insect.  Although, we like most of them, there were several that we still just did NOT like!


Language Arts: Strand 1: Reading - Using Language to Learn
The reader:
listens and follows written and oral directions
differentiates between fantasy and reality
compares and contrasts

The writer:
communicates ideas clearly
revises for clarity/logical order
uses the writing process

Science Standards
II Life Science (animals)
a. 1. Organisms have basic needs
a. 2. Organisms can survive only in environments in which their needs can be met/
b.1. investigate and understand that animals go through a series of orderly changes in their life cycles
b.2 classify animals based on their similarities
c.1. investigate and describe ways in which animals interact with each other and with the environment

Technology Standards:
1 - 1.4 Open, navigate, and close curriculum-based software programs
3 - 3.2 Create, revise, edit, save, and print a document
3 - 3.3 Utilize basic paint/draw tools