Back to Projects

Insect Bookmarks

School: Alice B. Beal Elementary

City/State: Springfield, MA

Grade(s): 2

Format(s): Bookmark

Subject(s): English Language Arts, Science and Technology, Visual Arts

Project Overview

These bookmarks were created by 2nd graders at the Alice B. Beal Elementary School in Springfield, Massachusetts as part of a two-month Learning expedition on insects.

The learning expedition included field observation and collection, classroom experimentation and research, reading from books and websites, and work with a local entomologist who works for The Smithsonian Institute. The teacher assembled a classroom library with non-fiction books across a wide range of reading levels. This Learning expedition was a customized, expanded version of a required district science unit.

Students became experts in insects local to Western Massachusetts, and then researched a specific insect. Each bookmark in the collection contains a scientific illustration of the student’s insect and a detailed written description.

To achieve the high level of quality shown in the bookmarks, students did multiple revisions of their drawings and writing, each time receiving feedback from students and adults.

Previous students from this class, involved in this same learning expedition on insects, won a city-wide competition to design an insect habitat; they received a $1,000 prize, which they used for classroom supplies.

Because previous classes had already created a field guide to local insects, and insect note cards, this class wanted to use the same learning to produce something fresh.

How This Project Can Be Useful

  • Highlights subsequent years of students studying similar content but producing different products as a result of their learning
  • A good example of a clever, marketable format – informative bookmarks - that provides a useful means for demonstrating content knowledge, and a way to remind the bookmark’s user of the work of these students
  • Drawings are very detailed, demonstrating the power of multiple drafts (see entries for the luna moth, damselfly and termites). Quality is nice enough for these to be sold in a bookstore
  • An example of 2nd graders working with a local scientist
  • A creative and effective format to address and deepen content required in state curriculum frameworks and district science requirements
  • Highlights careful and accurate writing by young students

Common Core State Standards

Standard Long Term Learning Target
  • I can construct a closure on the topic of an informative/explanatory text.
  • I can participate in shared research projects.
Back to Projects