Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Creepy Crawlie Visitor! (The good kind)

Today we had an unexpected visitor to our classroom...but let me back up a bit.

 A few weeks ago my students and I put up some bird feeders on our classroom windows. Ever since I found out I was moving to a room on the first floor I have been salivating over having a bird feeder in my window.

Well, the feeders have been up for a few weeks now and NO BIRDS! They sit in the tree and in the grass and stare at the feeder but don't use it. I don't get it. I thought maybe they wouldn't like the glare of the window so I closed the blinds for a while so we could just barely see out and we always work with the lights off (hate the florescents), but still no birds. I have a group of kids who have deemed themselves the "bird committee" and they are working on a strategic plan to trick the birds into coming.... I think we might have the early makings of a science experiment/data collection activity in the making.

Anywho, the kids have gotten over the disappointment of the absent birds and have been rushing over to check things out less often, until one of my students spotted this guy today:

So OF COURSE we immediately rushed outside to get a closer look. Many of my students had never seen a Preying Mantis before and were really excited to check him out. Unprompted, they made many very interesting and scientific comments about his legs, eyes, body segments, the way he moved, and his color (*I was so proud*). Here are some more photos (the whole time I was thinking "thank GOD I remembered to change the camera batteries this morning!).

One of the most interesting comments one of the kids made was, "do you think he might eat some bird seed?" My Bird Committee was not having ANY of that! And they quickly retorted with, "he'd better not!" And then one very smart cookie said, "maybe the birds will see him here, swoop down and eat him, and stay for some bird seed for dessert!"

By the time we got back inside, Manny the Mantis had done a 180 and was slowly creeping towards the birdseed.... And that's when one kid said, "finally the bird feeders are going to see some ACTION!" Not too long after that, he had mysteriously disappeared and the bird feeders are still just as full as when Manny arrived on our window screen.

I love moments like this! We were making memories and building background knowledge for future lessons. Plus I got a few "kids say the darndest things" moments out of it too :).


  1. How cool! I hatched a praying mantis egg sac the year before last. We had about 100 babies from an egg sac the size of a walnut. I let the survivors go after 2 weeks (they are cannibals, even though I had fruit flies for them to eat!). Even now, 2 years later we occasionally find praying mantises on the playground, and my former kinders are always so excited to see them - they just know that they're offspings of the ones we set free lol! Isn't it wonderful when nature gives you a free lesson?

    Jennifer @ Herding Kats In Kindergarten

  2. Try sprinkling some of the birdseed on the ground below the takes a little while for the birds to be comfortable but they will come!!!

  3. That is so cool! One year a student brought one in a cool whip container. When I opened it the praying mantis flew out into a child's face and then to the ceiling! We had a lot of screams! The janitor had to get a ladder and get it down! What a guy to help me out! Last year I had a baby one and he died over the weekend. I felt so bad!!