During a pond investigation, children noticed dragonflies. These curious creatures begin their lives in water before undergoing a metamorphic process that takes them into the skies. During our daily nature walks, the children’s fascination grew as they watched these animals fluttering around the playground. They would often stop and point in excitement when they noticed a dragonfly’s translucent wings glinting in the sunlight.
Children first learned about the anatomy of these insects. When viewing images, the children would stop and point to the various parts of their bodies, and then listen to the names of each one. To help further their knowledge, the classmates used natural materials to construct replicas of these winged animals. First, Pre-Toddler C friends ventured outdoors to collect materials. Once they brought materials indoors, children were presented with various images of dragonflies and an array of the twigs, leaves, branches and acorns which they had so diligently collected.
As our educational journey continued, the children showed heightened interest in the wings of a dragonfly. They often mimicked the vibrating motion these bugs used when flying. We decided this was the perfect opportunity to aid in gross motor skill development and presented the children with a variety of winged dress up clothing. The children loved selecting wings of their own and zooming around the classroom as they imitated the flight of a dragonfly.
Now that the children had explored these creatures in the sky, our attention turned toward their habitats. Pre-Toddler C friends knew that they often lived around water but were uncertain as what other elements would be needed for a dragonfly to survive. We decided that the best way to discover this would be a venture into the great outdoors to observe these creatures in their natural habitats. The children noticed that they often saw them around the plants and trees found all around our school. This opened our curiosity to gardens and forests. The children, once again, collected materials to replicate the environment that dragonflies are found in. Upon returning to the classroom, we transformed our sensory bin into a dragonfly environment.