the praying mantis lives…

It is week two with our praying mantis as our unofficial classroom pet. It has been quite interesting to see the effect it has been having on our class. During recess time, a good handful of my students are very busy collecting and catching food for the praying mantis. They have caught grasshoppers, butterflies, dragonflies, and other insects from the field to feed it. They bring the praying mantis with it to lunch and recess, in it’s small plastic container. Two of the boys during our library visit last week were super excited about finding books on the praying mantis. A few of my students wrote about the praying mantis in their writer’s notebook. Here is an excerpt I liked:

“and other children ran fast as possible, but they were no match for dragonflies’ extremely fast wings.  …

He suddenly swung the net like a baseball bat. It hit the dragonfly in the head. The dragonfly’s head went flying. He thought it was dead, but I said to just put it in the praying mantis’ cage. He did. The headless dragonfly was moving. Its legs and belly was moving quickly. I read in a book that dragonfly’s body is different from human’s.  Then, the deadly-insect predator snatched the headless prey and ate it happily. The praying mantis looked very happy.”

I loved this poem that another student wrote in their writer’s notebook:


fly fly butterfly

don’t be snatched by mantis

don’t be snatched by bird

fly fly butterfly

don’t die in the rain

don’t die in the snow

fly fly butterfly

fly through the fresh air!

There have been some good teachable moments with the praying mantis. I’m thinking that it will fit in nicely with our unit on ecosystems in science, especially when we are studying the food web. However, it’s cage is starting to smell.

For more slice of life entries go here:

8 thoughts on “the praying mantis lives…

    • jeeyoung says:

      I know…well i didn’t like the previous ones with the lines…i’ll stick with white until i can find something better~

  1. 1stgradeteacher says:

    It is grand that a mantis is inspiring writing. Vicki Spandel writes about paying close attention to what is around you and thinking before writing. It looks like your students already understand this.

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