June Bugs: Cultivating Caring, Compassion, and Empathy
Caring for June Bugs
As the weather warms up, you may notice some old friends reappear- June Bugs! June Bugs are small beetles that emerge from the ground in spring and summer. They can be fascinating to observe and learn more about. This interest can be a wonderful opportunity to explore empathy, compassion, and caring. Children will often be drawn to care for creatures smaller and more vulnerable than themselves. These experiences offer a chance for the children to feel powerful and responsible.
June Bugs Fun Facts
- June Bugs larvae can live in the ground for 2-3 years before surfacing to become an adult
- They got their name because of their prolific quantity in the month of June
- June Bugs are less than one inch in length
- They are most active at night
- June Bugs are very attracted to light
Supporting Caring and Empathy
Facilitate a discussion about caring for bugs. Talk about how to handle the bugs and how to respectfully observe them. Encourage children to use experiences with other animals and creatures as a reference. If the children in your class are interested, it may be helpful to make a list of agreements as a class to follow when caring for the June Bugs.
Observation is a powerful tool for investigation. Support the children in using observation as a tool to learn more about how the June Bugs move, what they eat, where they like to climb, and what areas they enjoy living in. You can offer clipboards and drawing materials for children to record their observations.
Create a Bug Habitat
One way to encourage care for the June Bugs is to invite children to create a bug habitat for the June Bugs to explore. This experience naturally lends itself to research! This can include a trip to the school or local library, utilizing technology, or talking to local experts. Once the children find out what kind of materials and spaces June Bugs like to call home, they can begin to collect materials to create a bug house. Incorporate family engagement by encouraging families to bring in recycled materials for building bug houses. Once created, encourage children to observe the bugs in their new habitat. Here are some questions to spark curiosity:
- Can you tell me about your bug habitat and why you chose these materials?
- Do the June Bugs act the same way in their new bug habitat as they did out in nature? How and why?
- What do you think the June Bug likes about this habitat? Why?
Jordan Kaseeska is the Education Specialist at Kodo Kids. She received her undergraduate degree from Colombia College Chicago in Early Childhood Education and went on to earn her masters degree from University of Colorado- at Denver in Education and Human Development with a focus in Early Literacy. She has used her passion for constructionist style teaching in both public and private early childhood and elementary schools.
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