Doodlebug is just another name for antlion. They live in the dusty dry places around our homes and trees. Several are visiting our classroom during our dinosaur theme.
We watched our antlions doodle around in a shallow bowl before adding them to their habitat. They set traps while the students watched.
The stick in the container is for an antlion to perch on should it change to the adult stage while in our classroom. The white cylinder is a film casing with a hole in the bottom so water can be added without making the sand on the surface wet.
Antlions can remain underground for one to two years. Once they go into the cocoon stage, they will emerge as adults in about 28 days.
“Doodlebug, doodlebug, come for your supper” is how the old nursery rhyme goes. This tiny creature is often overlooked as we go about our daily tasks. The little critter lurks underground in tiny sand funnels just the right size to trap ants. The sad news is that when we spray our yards, not only does the poison leech through to our aquifers, but it also kills this natural predator of the ant. The ants always seem to come back.
My students watch antlions in a small habitat in our classroom. Patience is required to be able to catch these tiny creatures moving about. It helps to add ants!
Watch an antlion guarding his trap!
What could be worse than being extinct? Maybe never existing? Believe it or not, there’s no such thing as a Brontosaurus. It was all a result of The Bone Wars.
Two paleontologists, Yale’s O.C. Marsh and Edward Drinker Cope raced to get dinosaur names into publication and outdo each other. This era became known as The Bone Wars. This led to the body of an Apatosaurus being combined with a the skull of a Camarasaurus in 1877. When they discovered a more complete Apatosaurus, they name it Brontosaurus which means “thunder lizard”.
By 1903 scientists had spotted the mistake, but the Brontosaurus lived on, in movies, books and children’s cartoons. Maybe because Brontosaurus has a more interesting name than Apatosaurus, which is “deceptive lizard”. Whatever the reason, there never was a Brontosaurus. Sorry Fred…
Will the teacher hear it?
“Miss Coleen, he yelled at me!” exclaims one of my students from her computer station.
“I did not!” comes a very indignant answer from the accused.
“Yes, he did. He yelled right in my face.” replies the first student.
“I did not yell at her!” says the accused again and now his voice has a small whine to it.
I knew I had to defuse the conflict, so I tried, “I was sitting right here and I didn’t hear anyone yelling…”
I did not finish my sentence before the quick thinking little girl said, “That’s because he whispered it!”
My students love learning the songs I find or create to support each month’s theme. We were singing to the tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb:
♫ Dinosaurs walked on this earth
On this earth, on this earth
Dinosaurs walked on this earth
And some were very slow… ♫
Before I could start the next verse, a little guy exclaims, “I like Doralora!” I had to do some heavy guessing about types of dinosaurs before I realized he meant Dora the Exlporer AND she helped dinosaurs cross the river.
My theme for May is dinosaurs. Children are very interested in these prehistoric creatures. We discuss how extinct animals are those species which are no longer living. Try explaining that to a four year old for the first time! Why are dinosaurs extinct?
“They’ve been dead a really long time and dead stuff stinks!”
This is it! Today I start migrating pages to their spots and officially I consider this my new site. Welcome aboard! There is so much for us to share and learn, not only about teaching science to preschoolers, but the relatively new science of computers and the science of how a classroom is put together for young children. I look forward to this new experience!