Citizen Science in the Classroom Series: Lost Ladybug Project

By December 15th, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Comment

Using the Lost Lady Bug Project Citizen Science Project to Meet Common Core and Next Generation Teaching Standards

Lost laydbug 1

Lost Ladybug Project

Grades:

Primary through adult

Description:

Scientists are asking for help learning about the distribution of native and invasive ladybugs, their populations, and ranges. Classrooms and individuals may participate by joining this project to upload their sightings of ladybugs (pictures and searches) to contribute to this data collection effort.

Materials You’ll Need:

LLP 2

Lost Ladybug Project Home Page

Why This Citizen Science Project is a Strong Candidate for the Classroom:

  • Ladybugs are commonly distributed across North America and they are non-threatening to students and children.
  • The researchers are asking for photos and sightings or even just searches. There is no minimum number of times you need to participate or help.
  • The project website says that, “Zeros are useful data!” This is great because it teaches the core scientific idea that sometimes nothing is something.
  • You can use their provided online or printable field guides on their site to help identify the ladybugs so you don’t have to be an expert identifying ladybugs.
  • Once you photograph the ladybugs you can upload the photos and submit the data of your location online. Researchers will also help with the proper ID.
  • Usable data, graphs, reading materials, and identification tools that are quick to download are available on the site. You can also sort data by region and have children read and interpret data and basic maps.
  • Uploading data is safe and can be anonymous.
  • Children can see their data online.

Teaching Materials: Supplied on their website Lost Ladybug Project on SciStarter.

Includes lesson plans, facts and reading materials, identification tools, songs, coloring book and primary reading, videos, downloadable data, interactive maps, pie charts, and graphs.

lost ladybug 2

Teaching materials supplied by the Lost Ladybug Project

Online Safety for Children

Uploading information for this site requires an adult or participant to upload their first and last name and an e-mail address, with the option to make this information visible to the public. Teachers may wish to use a school name such as Winston Middle or Mr. Joni’s Class and then a generic e-mail address. You do need to provide your country, state, and nearest city but not exact coordinates if you don’t choose to provide that information (it’s in the optional section). You may also optionally provide the names and number of spotters, but again you can choose anonymity. Students may be protected by having one adult enter the data, or you can assign them numbers or names or even a “group” uploading identity.

Common Core and Next Gen. Standards Met:

Kindergarden:

Next. Gen. Science:

K-LS-1 Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals need to survive. Teachers may focus on the feeding habits of ladybugs, aphids, and the host plants that aphids feed on. Use the resources provided in the lesson plans on “Collecting Ladybugs Habitat I & II”.

Common Core:

Literacy: RI.K.1-Students should answer questions about text read to them from the ladybug readings suggested. W.K.1, W.K.2, W.K.7-Students may use books suggest above to make drawings and writings about the book and what they learned about ladybugs as well as working on a shared research project about ladybugs.

Math: MP.2, MP.4, K.CC, K.MD.A.2-Using data about their own collection or that provided online students may model with math, count spots on ladybugs, and compare objects with measurable attributes(spots) in common.

First Grade:

Next. Gen. Science:

1-LS3-1 Make observations to construct an evidence-based account that young plants and animals are like, but not exactly like, their parents. For this Project: Focus on the life cycle of ladybugs, and how the young look completely different from the adults before they undergo metamorphosis. Use the resources provided in the lesson plans on the “Ladybug Life Cycle” along with posters and resources on their teaching page.

Common Core:

Literacy: RI.1.1, RI.1.2, RI.1.10, W.1.7, W.1.8- Students should answer questions about text read to them from the ladybug readings suggested. Students may also use books suggest above to make drawings and writings about the book and what they learned about ladybugs as well as working on a shared research project about ladybugs and data they collect.

Math: MP.2, MP.51.NBT.B.3-Students may use data from the data page to reason abstractly and quantitatively about ladybug populations by state or region. They may then discuss the proper unit and tools and compare numbers.

LLP 4

Ladybug from the Lost Ladybug Project

Second Grade:

Next Gen. Science:

2-LS4-1 Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitat.

For this Project: Compare diversity of ladybugs in different regions using the provided online lesson plan on Ladybug Diversity.  Also use their online identification tools and printable posters as well as the data and mapping information provided.

Common Core:

                Literacy: W.2.7, W.2.8, SL.2.5- Teachers may have students conduct scientific collection, research their projects using books suggested on the website, and crate a visual representation of their research in poster form or audio/video form. Suggested video ideas for the ladybug project can be found online here.

Math: MP.2, MP.4, MP.5, 2.MD.D.10- Students may use data from the data page to reason abstractly and quantitatively about ladybug populations by state or region. They may then discuss the proper unit and tools and compare numbers. Students may also graph their findings or data provided online.

Third Grade:

Next Gen. Science:

3-LS3-2 Use evidence to support the explanation that traits can be influenced by the environment.

For this Project: Students can use geographic maps and tools to visually compare ladybugs from different regions using the posters and mapping pages provided. They may then hypothesize about the differences between colors, patterns, and shape. Also use the online lesson plan on food webs provided.

Common Core:

                Literacy: RI3.1, RI.3.2, RI 3.7, W.3.2, SL.3.4, SL.3.5- Teachers may have students conduct scientific collection, research their projects using books suggested on the website, and crate a visual representation of their research in poster form or audio/video form. Suggested video ideas for the ladybug project can be found online here.

Math: MP.2, MP.4, 3.NBT, 3.MD.B.3- Students may use data from the data page to reason abstractly and quantitatively about ladybug populations (native and invasive) by state or region. They may then discuss the proper unit and tools and compare numbers. Students may also graph their findings or data provided online.

Fifth Grade:

Next Gen. Science:

5-ESS3-1 Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.

For this Project: Teachers should have students examine data maps, with information about native and invasive ladybugs, and have students work in teams to identify patterns and what the data means. They may then discuss how researchers may use the data to create conservation plans for ladybugs and why this might be important. Teachers may also use the online lesson plan provided about native v. invasive species of ladybugs.

Common Core:

                Literacy: RI.5.1, RI5.7, RI.5.9, W.5.8, W.5.9, SL.5.5- Teachers may have students conduct scientific collection, research their projects using books suggested on the website or online media suggested, and crate a visual representation of their research in poster form or audio/video form. Suggested video ideas for the ladybug project can be found online here.

                Math: MP.2, MP.4- Students may use data from the data page to reason abstractly and quantitatively about ladybug populations (native and invasive) by state or region. They may then discuss the proper unit and tools and compare numbers. Students may also graph their findings or data provided online.


When not writing her blog The Infinite Spider, Karen McDonald is a guest blogger, curriculum developer, science content editor, and outdoor educator with over thirteen years in informal science education. She has an MS in Biology and a BS in Environmental Science and Philosophy. Currently she works for Smithsonian and contracts for Discovery Channel.