Sunday, December 2, 2012

Bugs, Bugs and More Bugs

During September, October, and November, Olivia and I did a huge study on insects of all kind with the Apologia Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day book that we used for both bats and birds. It's been very educational for both of us. The lessons and experiments have shed a great deal of light and removed a lot of mystery from the form and function of the most abundant creatures on Earth. About the time we started this section, we went to visit BugFest in Raleigh, which was a great intro to the unit.

 We learned tons about insects we see every day, like beetles, ladybugs and fireflies (which are actually beetles), spiders (which aren't insects at all), flies (which Olivia says are the grossest because of the way they eat), and true bugs like June Bugs, Stink Bugs and Water Bugs.
Olivia was learning that the sounds a cricket makes vs a grasshopper/locust is due to the length of their wings. To demonstrate, we filled 2 glasses to different levels and tapped each one. The one with more water/less air in it (analogous to shorter legs) makes a higher-pitched sound.
Olivia observing an adult grasshopper.
Notice the fully grown wings on the back. That's how you know it's an adult.
Another experiment had us catch a bug to see the effects of cold on it. We managed to catch a flying ant that was in the house and put it in a mason jar.
After putting it in the freezer for only 5 minutes it seemed dead as a doornail. 
After a couple of minutes out of the freezer, it started regaining life.
Within 5 minutes it was up and about like normal.
We found a dead little fly on a windowsill, so Olivia got to look at it up close with a magnifying glass.
Here's what she saw. She loved the compound eyes.

I just love the Apologia Nature Journal because it has her doing so many different projects and assignments that she never gets bored and really retains the information.
The end result of our entire study of flying creatures is true amazement at the wonders of God's creation. So many bits and pieces are so perfectly made to work together that the intricacy of bones, feathers, legs and eyes leave little room for argument that our God is a detailed and precise creator.

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