I Love Bugs! by Philemon Sturges

This very simple story introduces children to a variety of bugs and vocabulary to help describe them.



  • Camouflage (to blend into the environment so you or an animal is difficult to find or see)
  • Insect (having 6 legs and three body parts and many have wings)
  • Habitat (where a bug or animal lives in nature)

Before Reading the Story

Put your large ladybug picture on the wall of your circle time where everyone can see. Let the children take a turn rolling the dice and then adding that many circle stickers to the ladybug. As a child puts the stickers on the ladybug, the other children can count along. Play a second round if the children are interested.

Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to make one-to-one correspondence in counting objects and matching groups of objects.

Reading the Story

Read the title and then open the front cover. Ask the children of they can name any of the bugs on the page. Do the same with the back cover page. Then reintroduce the story and see if the children can name the bugs as you read, if not you name for them. (These bugs paddle, remember these are called water beetles because they can race across the water. This one’s like a twig, this is a hard one. It’s called a praying mantis. They sit on leaves and you can hardly see them because they blend in).

Language Development/Speaking & Communicating;uses an increasingly complex and varied vocabulary.

After Reading the Story

Ask the children ,where do bugs live? Do you have a bug that you really like, dislike? Talk to the children about bug safety. Some bugs are gentle like ladybugs and some bite when they are scared (spider, beetles). he praying mantis even spits! Explain to the children that bugs are for looking at but not for hurting. Bugs are important to our environment (some help compost garbage and waste. Some eat mosquitoes that are also a bug but an annoying one. Caterpillars will turn into butterflies or moths in time. Let the children share any information they have about bugs.

Language Development/Speaking & Communicating; develops increasing abilities to understand and use language to communicate information, experiences, ideas, feelings, opinions, needs, questions; and for other varied purposes. AND Physical Health & Development/Health Status & Practices; builds awareness and ability to follow basic health and safety rules such as fire safety, traffic and pedestrian safety, and responding appropriately to potentially harmful, objects, substances, and activities.


Bring a bug habitat into the classroom. Give the children magnifying glasses so that they can closely observe the insects/bugs in a more natural environment. Talk about special features that your ibug may have (How many legs do you see? Do you know what those funny things are called on the top of it’s head-antenna, Do you see how the wings lay flat on the back? Note; do not keep insects in a container for extended periods of time unless you understand it’s eating and surviving necessities.

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to use senses and a variety of tools and simple measuring devices to gather information, investigate materials, and observe processes and relationships.

Make copies of the front and back inside of the book and also the real insects from resources. Have the children match the picture of the insect/bug to the real insect/bug. Talk about the pictures, how are they alike, ow are the different?

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; shows increasing abilities to match, sort, put in series, and regroup pictures according to one or two attributes such as shape or size. AND Science/Science Knowledge; expands knowledge of and abilities to observe, describe, and discuss the natural world, materials, living things, and natural processes.

Music and Movement

Here is the Beehive poem

Here is the beehive (make fist with hand)

But where are the bees? (shrug shoulders)

Flying around where no one see?

Oh wait, I can hear them now (hold cupped hand to ear)

They are in their hive (make fist again)

Here they come 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (hold up fingers as you count)

Mathematics/Number & Operations; develops increasing ability to count to 10 and beyond. AND Creative Arts/Music; participates with increasing interest and enjoyment in a variety of music activities, including listening, singing, finger plays, games, and performances.

Put on a version of Flight of the Bumblebees and have the children dance and move to the music. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYAJopwEYv8

Creative Arts/Movement; expresses through movement and dancing what is felt and heard in various musical tempos and styles.

Play the song, The Ants Go Marching and have the children march along. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pjw2A3QU8Qg

Creative Arts/Movement; expresses through movement and dancing what is felt and heard in various musical tempos and styles.


Add plastic insects/bugs along with some easter grass/real grass, sticks, and several rocks. Encourage the children to build a habitat for their bugs.

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; understands an increasingly and complex vocabulary.


Making insects. Put out play dough and pieces of pipe cleaners. The children cn roll the playdough into balls and attach legs. Are they able to count out six legs? Encourage them to try rolling their playdough into a long hotdog shape and adding legs.

Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to make use of one-to-one correspondence in counting objects and matching groups of objects.

Library and Writing

Add any insect non-fiction books that you have. Let the children see real pictures of bugs and insects.

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; shows growing interest in reading-related activities, such as asking to have a favorite story read; choosing to look at books; drawing pictures based on stories; asking to take books home; going to the library; and engaging in pretend-reading with other children.

Sand and Water

Water in the table today. Make a sheet of the water insects in several colors. Cut around them roughly and add to the water table today.

Creative Arts/Dramatic Play; shows growing creativity and imagination in using materials and in assuming different roles in dramatic play situations.

Dramatic Play

Math and Manipulatives

If you have rubber insects at your center, use these for pattern play. Or make several copies of 5 insects from resources and use these to make patterns with the children. (ant, luna moth, ant, luna moth, which comes next? Spider, bee, bee, spider, bee, bee, which comes next?

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; enhances abilities to recognize, duplicate, and extend simple patterns suing a variety of materials.

Outdoor Play

Look for bugs and insects on your playground. You can help encourage them to come by laying a piece of cardboard box down several days before hand. Or putting out food in areas where you have seen ant trails.

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to participate in simple investigations to test observations, discuss and draw conclusions, and form generalizations.


Hold the front cover page of the book open and ask a child to name one of the bugs on the page. After they name, have them fly, jump, or crawl to the next activity by following the bugs example.

Language Development/Speaking & Communicating; uses an increasingly complex and varied vocabulary.


wooly bear
praying mantis
luna moth
water table water bugs
About Kerry CI am an Early Childhood Educator who has seen daily the value of shared book readings with my preschoolers. I use the book theme in my centers and can daily touch upon a variety of Early Childhood Domains which makes assessing the children easy and individualized.