Nature study can be as simple as a short walk in the neighborhood or as elaborate as a week in a National Park. Don’t make it hard. Just go outside. This month, spend some time outside every day that is reasonable and observe what beetles s you can find in your own yard and around your neighborhood or local parks. You don’t have to know all the answers to your kids’ questions because you can look up the answers later.
Here are some questions to consider with your kids when you find beetles:
- How large is the insect?
- What is its shape?
- What parts do you see?
- What colors does the beetle have?
- How is the beetle marked?
- What are its legs like? How are they attacked? How do they function?
- Where are its wings? How do they work?
The Book of Beetles: https://www.amazon.com/Book-Beetles-Life-Size-Hundred-Natures/dp/022608275X/
The Beetle Book: https://www.amazon.com/Beetle-Book-Steve-Jenkins/dp/0547680848
Beetle Battles: One Scientist’s Journey of Adventure and Discovery: https://www.amazon.com/Beetle-Battles-Scientists-Adventure-Discovery/dp/1250147115/
Bonkers About Beetles: https://www.amazon.com/Bonkers-About-Beetles-Owen-Davey/dp/1911171984/
A Beetle is Shy: https://www.amazon.com/Beetle-Shy-Nature-Books/dp/1452127123/
Handbook of Nature Study:
Have you heard of Anna Botsford Comstock’s Handbook of Nature Study? It’s a fantastic book that covers all kinds of creatures, plants, and habitats. Since it has all sorts of resources in it, you should download it for free at https://www.google.com/books/edition/Handbook_of_Nature_study_for_Teachers_an/CjPbAAAAMAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=0
Anna Botsford Comstock talks about a beetle on pages 538-71 of the linked edition of the Handbook of Nature Study. Take a few minutes to read those pages, and then keep those ideas in mind as you and your kids watch the weather this month. That way, you may remember the answers to some of their questions, and you have another handy resource to check when you can’t.