That I have an appreciation of and fascination with insects is no secret as I have written about it many times previously.
Some of my earliest posts formed a series in which I suggested using Eric Carle‘s Very Hungry Caterpillar story for developing critical literary, encouraging children to question the authenticity of what they read and the qualifications and intentions of the author.
Carle’s purpose with the story was to entertain, not to teach, and he was therefore unconcerned about inaccuracies in the butterfly life cycle.
The book, popular for its bright colourful illustrations and inspiring story of an ordinary caterpillar who becomes a beautiful butterfly achieves the author’s goal to entertain.
In a more recent post Revisiting The Very Hungry Caterpillar I provided a summary of, and links to, each of the four original posts which explained my recommendation that this very popular book was more relevant to teaching critical literacy than science.
Acknowledging the importance of maintaining Wondering in the everyday and an attachment with nature in wild spaces, I described my excitement at being able to observe every stage of the ladybird’s life cycle up close in my own backyard; an excitement that had perhaps exceeded observing the butterfly life cycle in the classroom with our live butterfly kits which had allowed us to Breathe – a sense of wonder! I even shared a section of a television interview in this post about Talking Interviews.
I talked about some insect themed classroom and teaching resources in The comfort zone. Others are listed on my page Early Childhood Teaching Resources and are available in my Teachers Pay Teachers and Teach in a Box stores. These, and many more, will be available on my readilearn website when it launches later in the year. Here is a sneak peek at some that will be included:
But the truth is I don’t really love all insects. I’m not too keen on cockroaches, though the native Australian giant burrowing cockroaches are pretty cool. And although I am aware of vital roles of insects in the environment
- as a food source for many animals
- as pollinators for flowering plants
- as decomposers
and I know that without them we’d basically not have an environment, in fact, we wouldn’t be; I often wonder whether we would be all that worse off without disease-spreading mosquitoes and flies. However, it seems that they too are vital to the health of our planet, whether we like them or not. It’s a bit of a “can’t live with them and can’t live without them” situation.
This brings me to the flash fiction prompt set by Charli Mills of The Carrot Ranch this week. She has challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less) include insects in a story. How could I resist? In fact, the real challenge was choosing what to put in and what to leave out of the post, and how to not be predictable in my response.
It took just one, then the word was out. The streets were abuzz with the news – a triumph of social media.
“Kyle’s having a barbecue. Tell everyone. Don’t bring anything. There’s always plenty.”
The excitement was palpable as guests swarmed towards Kyle’s. Some, initially unsure, flapped about nervously. Others, more experienced, felt they were dancing on the ceiling. Eventually all were on their way. The waft of seared flesh left no doubt about the location.
Kyle was ready when they arrived. “Who invited you?” he grinned and waved, as he knocked them out with the can of spray.
Well, what would you do?
#9 on this list of “Ten thing about flies you may not know” says,
“The use of pesticides on crops to try to kill flies and insects is actually causing more damage to the ecosystem than the flies themselves.”
It’s something to think about next time you reach for that fly swat or can of insect spray.
I’ll leave you with a bit of nostalgia with a television advertisement, starring Louie, from my childhood days.
Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.