Welcome to your First Grade, Year of the Invertebrate! The reason we study invertebrates all year long is because they are always changing. From our end of the summer start of school, to the beginning of summer and end of school invertebrates have a tough job! They live short lives, they are eaten by many predators, and they pollinate plants to give us our food and even our clothes!
As you travel around the sun this year you will experience all of the seasons. You will explore what happens when the longer days of Summer grow shorter and colder through Fall and into Winter and then grow longer again as we head through Spring and back to Summer again. You will learn about invertebrate migration and hibernation (there's a cool word for that!).
So while we are a little more focused on insects as young entomologists we still also notice our other little invertebrates (spiders, millipedes, etc.) that have more or less than 6 legs. This is an important area of science. Recording the last date and location that we see an insect in the fall, and the first date and location that we see a species return is valuable information and our local adult scientists need your help. You don’t have to know the name of the insect as long as you can describe it really well. You can use a camera but drawing will help you learn more, so please use your field journal or nature notebook. Nothing fancy, just paper and pencil to capture important moments of discovery.
Remember that every beautiful flower and all of our food depends on pollination and we need healthy populations of insects to do their work in nature. Our Mountain Kid work this year is to study them doing their work! I will post a new video every week to help you on your journey. The first one below is your big welcome!
So a few ideas:
- Go outside everyday
- Record every observation of any new insects - date and location. What are they doing?
- Field journal one bigger adventure at least once a week
- Go outside and look at the moon each week. Draw it. Label it waxing (getting more full) or waning (getting less full). It changes every single night.
- Record Sunrise & Sunset time every day. Notice the changes as daylight grows shorter as we get closer to winter and then longer when we start moving back toward summer again.