Teaching insects

Are you teaching the topic ‘Living things and habitats’ in Year 2?

As part of the sequence of lessons in your medium-term plan, you’ve probably arranged for your class to go on a hunt for some minibeasts. This is a really fun and engaging activity, but once the children find the bugs, can they tell you what they are? Do they know which minibeasts are insects?

Learning to identify insects

We have an excellent lesson plan that you can use before the children go on their bug hunt. It will help children learn how to identify insects from other creepy-crawlies, which is an important skill to learn in preparation for classifying animals in Year 4. The downloadable lesson pack includes a lesson plan that links to the National Curriculum and gives ideas for previous and future learning.

Insect lesson plan Year 2

The PowerPoint presentation explains how to identify an insect.

One slide from the PowerPoint presentation included in the lesson pack

Make sock insects!

Your class can then apply their newly acquired knowledge by making fun sock insects! This project requires no sewing, upcycles old socks and it’s perfect for both visual and kinesthetic learners. They each just need to make sure that their cuddly insect has three body parts (a head, thorax and abdomen), as well as six legs. They could also add wings and antennae if they like.

To help with the lesson, we have included detailed images of some insects. These clearly show the body parts to help children to identify the things they must include on their sock insect. To support your less able learners, we’ve included a visual set of instructions that can be followed with help from your teaching assistant.

To stretch your top scientists, there’s a spot-the-odd-one-out activity. A rogue creepy-crawly has found its way onto the page with the other insects. The challenge is to find the minibeast that isn’t an insect, and then use one of the insects as a model for their sock toy. It’s important that throughout the lesson you talk about how to identify whether a bug is an insect. By the end of the lesson, the children should be able to identify that an earwig is an insect, but a woodlouse or a spider is not.

Create an insect display

Once the children have made their sock insects, you could create a fabulous display of them in your classroom. If you would like pupils to revisit their learning, ask them to create labels for each part of the insect and then add those to the display, or alternatively take photographs and pop them in their science books for evidence of the lesson. Make sure you share your photos with us too! Use the hashtag @whizzpopbangmag or post them to our Teacher Facebook Group – join here

For your next lesson, the children can go out and find minibeasts, but unlike when they did this activity in Reception or Year 1, this time they will have the knowledge to identify the insects.

Make insect collectors

Here are some instructions on how to make pooters. You can use these to collect insects safely and humanely, observe them, and then release the insects back into their habitats. Download these instructions for FREE

Find out how to make pooters with your class

Guided reading

To help consolidate pupils’ learning, why not introduce some insect-themed reading into your English sessions? Download our fascinating reading comprehension about ants. Since it’s for Year 2, the text and questions have been differentiated for different abilities.

Year 2 Non-chronological report on ants

Whizz Pop Bang magazine and teaching resources are brilliant ways to enhance your school’s science teaching:

  • We provide downloadable science lesson plans, PowerPoint presentations, hands-on investigations and science reading comprehensions written by primary school teachers.
  • Whizz Pop Bang teaching resources link to the National Curriculum, ensuring correct coverage.
  • All of our resources are year group specific, ensuring progression between the years.
  • We make cross-curricular links to other subjects, such as English, Maths, History, Geography, Art, Design and Technology and PSHE.

Prices from as little as £190 per year for a copy of Whizz Pop Bang magazine through the post each month and whole-school access to our ever-growing library of downloadable teaching resources, with unlimited teacher logins.

We’ve also just launched a new individual membership option so teachers and home educators can access all of our amazing downloadable resources for just £20 for the whole yearhttps://www.whizzpopbang.com/schools/#subscribe

“Using Whizz Pop Bang school resources has enabled investigations to be an integral part of my science planning. I now have investigations and experiments throughout my planning rather than just at the end. The lessons are easy to resource and the pack has everything I need to teach the lesson so it saves me time as well!” Louise Hampson, Year 3 teacher 


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Kit list for Whizz Pop Bang 61: ON THE MOVE

Find out about some of the most amazing animal migrations on Earth in the brand-new edition of Whizz Pop Bang: ON THE MOVE!

Come on an epic journey to investigate the science of migrations and travel. This issue, we’ll…
🐦 Build a welcoming bird bath
🧭 Make a compass in a jar
🌊 Investigate the impact of oil pollution
🐯 Learn how animal tracking devices work
🦜 Craft a brilliant balancing bird

Plus experiments, jokes, riddles, quizzes, competitions and more! Sign up by 4th August 2020 to receive this issue. 

Here’s a list of the extra bits you’ll need to complete every activity this month. As ever, there is loads of science fun to be had, even if you don’t have every single thing on the list. Let’s get going! 

Here’s a printable version of this month’s kit list 👇


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Whizz Pop Bang Coral Reef cover

Watch a Caribbean reef octopus change colour!

Want to watch an amazing octopus video? Using special skin cells called chromatophores, Caribbean reef octopuses can change colour at high speed to blend seamlessly into their coral home. This allows them to sneak up on prey and hide from predators.

See one in action here!

Discover more awesomely amazing coral reef residents in Whizz Pop Bang: REMARKABLE REEFS, available in our shop now!

Whizz Pop Bang Coral Reef cover

Whizz Pop Bang is a top-quality, gender-neutral, advert-free science magazine for families everywhere. Each issue is packed with experiments, activities, amazing facts, puzzles, jokes, riddles and more. Find out more here!


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Whizz Pop Bang Coral Reef cover

Make an edible coral polyp

Have you been reading about coral polyps in Whizz Pop Bang’s REMARKABLE REEFS edition?

This video shows how you can make your own edible polyp using banana, biscuits and sweets. Yum!

Find out more in REMARKABLE REEFS, available in our shop now!

This is great activity for schools teaching Animals, including humans and Living things and habitats at Key Stage 2. If you’re looking for science activities linked to coral reefs, give it a try!

Whizz Pop Bang is a top-quality, gender-neutral, advert-free science magazine for families everywhere. Each issue is packed with experiments, activities, amazing facts, puzzles, jokes, riddles and more. Find out more here!


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FREE science activities for year 2 and P3!

Now that schools are closed, have you become a home educator overnight? Whizz Pop Bang is the world’s most awesomely amazing kids’ science magazine, bursting with hands-on experiments, facts and fun, and we want to help you and your children with the huge transition that many of us face.

Here are some FREE science activities and experiments to help you entertain, excite and educate your year 2 child! You’ll find reading comprehensions about harvest mice and crabs, find out how to grow a grass head pet while learning about seed germination, discover how to make plastic from milk and create a working wind turbine!

Our experiments are designed for children from 6 to 12, but this list of experiments is particularly perfect for year 2, P3 (Scotland) and 6-year-olds and 7-year-olds as they tie in with the relevant National Curriculum objectives and topics.

The reading comprehensions included here were designed to be read at A3 size, so text may appear too small when printed at A4. They work really well on a tablet or monitor, or you may need to print them on two pages of A4 if your printer allows. 

If you have any comments or questions about our free year 2 science experiments and reading comprehensions, please leave a comment for us. Or do you have any science homeschool ideas or general home educating ideas for 6- and 7-year-olds? We’d love to hear from you!

Find loads more science activities, puzzles and games in our award-winning monthly kids science magazine, Whizz Pop Bang!

Harvest mice reading comprehension

Read all about the smallest rodent in Europe, the tiny harvest mouse!
Find out how they are related to other rodents, how much they weigh, what they use their tails for, how they protect themselves from predators, where they build their nests and what their babies are called. 

This downloadable reading pack includes: 
– A reading spread about harvest mice for you to print or for your child to read on a tablet.
–  Reading comprehension question sheet and answer sheet

Topic links: Year 2 living things and habitats, P3 Biodiversity and interdependence


Seed germination: grow your own plant pet!

Grow grass pets to learn about what seeds need in order to grow.  Design and make your own grass head pets, then discover what plants need in order to grow!

You will need:
Soil or compost
2 tbsp. grass seed
Old nylon tights
Plant pot or bowl
Elastic bands
Googly eyes, felt or beads
Needle and thread or glue

Bonus activity: how to walk like a cat!

Find out what’s special about how cats walk.

Topic links: Year 2 plants and P3 biodiversity and interdependence


Make your own plastic

Explore making plastic from milk (casein plastic) in this fun free science experiment using household items.

You will need:
Milk
White wine vinegar
A sieve
Paper towels

Bonus activity: Try out a leak-proof bag

These activities are taken from Whizz Pop Bang’s Awesomely Amazing Science Club – download the entire pack here!

Topic links: Year 2 Materials and P3 Properties and uses of substances


Crabs reading comprehension

Read about the ultimate recyclers of the seas, crabs! Discover why these cool crustaceans have an exoskeleton, how they walk and more!

This downloadable reading pack includes: 
– A reading spread about crabs for you to print or for your child to read on a tablet.
–  Reading comprehension question sheet and answer sheet.

Topic links: Year 2 living things and habitats, P3 Biodiversity and interdependence

Make a wind turbine

Print, cut and craft a working wind turbine!

You will need:
Printable template (below)
A paper straw
A wooden skewer
A stapler and staples
A few beads that are large enough to thread onto the skewer
Sticky tack

Bonus activity: upside-down glass experiment

This activity is taken from Whizz Pop Bang’s Awesomely Amazing Science Club – download the entire pack here!


Are you home educating children in other year groups? Then you might find these posts helpful:
Free science activities for year 3 and P4
Free science activities for year 4 and P5
Free science activities for year 5 and P6
Free science activities for year 6 and P7


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SPECTACULAR SCIENCE: Glass Frog Heartbeat

These extraordinary tree-dwelling frogs live mostly in tropical areas of Central and South America. Most are tiny, ranging in size from 3 cm to 7.5 cm. They are usually green in colour, except for their undersides, where the skin is transparent. This makes it easy to see their internal organs, including their beating hearts!


Unlike tree frogs, glass frogs have forward-facing eyes. They have excellent eyesight for hunting prey at night.


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what makes something fly

Take off this summer with our Sky High Science issue!

Whizz Pop Bang science magazine for kids! Sky high science

Wouldn’t it be amazing to fly like a bird? Or how do you fancy fluttering like a butterfly, or even soaring like a snake?! There are all sorts of flying phenomena to discover this issue. Have a go at making your own stunt plane, investigating different designs of straw planes and testing aerofoils. We interview Palaeontologist Liz Martin-Silverstone to ask her how on earth the giant pterosaurs were able to fly, plus we find out how drones work, and answer the question on lots of people’s minds… just how do planes fly???

Buy this issue here and fill your summer holidays with awesome science fun!! ? ✈ ?


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four puppies playing

Whizz Pop Bang science magazine – virtual dog breeding game explained

Mini scientist Poppy explains how to play the virtual breeding game in the Purr-fect pets issue of Whizz Pop Bang science magazine.

Experiment with breeding different dogs together and see what colour the puppies are! Each dog has two copies of the coat colour gene. The black coat gene (B) is dominant and the brown coat gene (b) is recessive. This means that only puppies with bb genes will be brown, and all those with one or two B genes will be black.

What you do:

  1. Cut out the cards on page 19
  2. Choose a male dog and a female dog for breeding and lay their cards out on a table with the names facing up (you should have four cards)
  3. Randomly choose one card for each dog and record the puppy’s genes and coat colour in the table below
  4. Each litter produces four puppies so return the cards to the table, mix them up and repeat step 3 until you have recorded the genes and coat colours of four puppies
  5. Keep choosing different dogs to breed to see what colour their puppies will be

You should find:
Even though Daisy and Max are black, they can still produce brown puppies together, but Buddy and Bella will never produce brown puppies, even if they’re bred with a brown dog. Only Molly with Rocky will produce all brown puppies. Brown puppies are rarer than black so they cost more. This is why pet breeders often breed closely related animals with rare features together.

To play this game, buy the Purr-fect Pets issue of Whizz Pop Bang magazine from our online shop for just £3.75 with free UK delivery.


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Royal Institution logo

Royal Institution Christmas lectures 2017

CHRISTMAS LECTURES 2017: The language of life

Later this month the amazing Professor Sophie Scott will deliver the 2017 CHRISTMAS LECTURES from the Royal Institution. Sophie’s a neuroscientist, stand-up comedian and an expert in laughter!  She’ll be unpacking all the amazing ways in which humans and animals communicate, and to celebrate we’re taking a peek at the most famous talking animals…

You can watch The Royal Institution Christmas lectures on BBC Four at 8.00pm on 26th, 27th and 28th December.

Royal Institute Christmas lectures Animal communicators
Royal Institute Christmas lectures famous animal communicators

 

Watch The Royal Institution Christmas lectures on BBC Four at 8.00pm on 26th, 27th and 28th December – let us know what you learnt from Sophie!


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