Books for Teaching About Bugs, Insects, and Spiders
- Grades: PreK–K
From Unit Plan: Watch Your Step!
Insects fascinate most students. They see them in their backyards, homes, and around school. These books help to clarify misconceptions and stimulate active discussions and learning.
About Insects by Catherine Sill; illustrated by John Sill
Simple text describes insect anatomy, behavior, and habitats.
Classroom Tip: Play a “Who Wants to be a Zillionaire” game by asking students to recall simple insect facts.
Backyard Insects by Millicent E. Selsam; illustrated Ronald Goor
Students discover that their own backyard (or school yard) is filled with many insects.
Classroom Tip: Set out some sugar to attract ants and other insects. Go on an insect hunt around the school.
Bugs for Lunch by Margery Facklam; illustrated by Sylvia Long
Students learn about a variety of insectivorous creatures (bug-eaters) presented in simple verse and beautiful watercolors.
Classroom Tip: Invite students to be insectivorous creatures by cooking up some insects (available by mail on the Internet).
Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! by Bob Barner
Rhyming text and brightly colored paper collages illustrate the exciting world of bugs.
Classroom Tip: Replicate the graph at the back of the book to compare and contrast bugs.
The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle
This book helps teach about time, manners, and the eating habits of a ladybug.
Classroom Tip: Make a clock chart with pictures that sequence who the grouchy ladybug met.
Hey, Little Ant by Hannah Hoose and Phillip Hoose; illustrated by Debbie Tilley
This rhyming story, originally a song, tells of an ant who is about to be squished under a boy's shoe.
Classroom Tip: Discuss with students what they think the child in the story should do.
Insects by Barbara Taylor
The world of insects is captured in beautiful photographs.
Classroom Tip: Make a collage of insect photos gathered from the Internet and magazines.
Insects Are My Life by Megan McDonald; illustrated by Paul Brett Johnson
A little girl collects, examines, protects, and imitates the behavior of insects.
Classroom Tip: Imitate the behavior of insects in the story.
I Wish I Were a Butterfly by James Howe
A wise spider helps a cricket to realize that he's special in his own way.
Classroom Tip: Discuss how we all have special gifts that make us unique.
A House Spider's Life by John Himmelman
Watercolors show the spider's world from its point of view.
Classroom Tip: Compare and contrast spiders and insects with a Venn diagram.
A Ladybug’s Life by John Himmelman
Depicts a ladybug’s life cycle.
Classroom Tip: Sequence the life cycle of the ladybug.
Rookie Read-About Science: It's a Good Thing There Are Insects by Allan Fowler
Brief Simple text and vivid photographs give facts about insects.
Classroom Tip: Make a book about insect facts.
Rookie Read-About Science: Spiders Are Not Insects by Allan Fowler
This book of photographs and simple text differentiates spiders from insects.
Classroom Tip: Have students explain (as experts) to another class how spiders and insects are different.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
The process of insect metamorphosis is told through the eating adventures of a tiny caterpillar.
Classroom Tip: Graph what the caterpillar ate and when.
Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears by Verna Aardema; illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon
A mosquito tells a lie that sets off a terrible chain reaction in the jungle in this folk tale.
Classroom Tip: Make up stories to explain why other natural phenomena occur.