Two culminating events were planned. One was a visit to a butterfly garden that doubled as an end-of-camp picnic for those parents that could drive and chaperone. The other was a display of clay sculpture bugs individual children created. This display included the children's dialog as well.
The Butterfly garden was a huge success. Prior to the trip several non-fiction books were read about how butterflies grow from caterpillars and how they are different from moths etc. The garden was incredibly populated with butterflies. Everywhere the children looked they could see butterflies of every shape and color. Some children tried to identify or match the live butterflies on a butterfly field guide chart. By far the most exciting moments were when the butterflies landed on the children. Children tried to speculate why the butterflies would do this.
Children were offered a variety of collage materials to use with their clay bug sculptures. Some sculptures were quite whimsical like the "Alien Bug", and others were more true to real bugs where children took information they had learned and incorporated it into their sculpture. Many children added six legs and commented that their bug was an insect. After their sculptures where complete, the children wrote descriptions to go along with them. The sculptures were then set out in a common area showcase for all of the parents and students to see.
The summer camp bug project turned out to be a wild success. Even children that did not seem to care for bugs at the beginning of camp were interested by the end. Children became excited when they found bugs. The whole school got involved by reporting to the Red Room any interesting bug sightings or by capturing bugs to donate to the Red Room. One older boy from another room brought in an interesting insect he had found at his house. The Red Room children observed it for a few days, looked it up in their Audubon field guide and returned it with the information they had learned. When children were asked about their favorite part of the project many talked about the field trips.
Parents were very supportive during the bug project. Some parents had their own aversion to bugs but went on the field trips and hid their fears. One father thought his daughter would not be interested in bugs but commented later that the way the topic was presented helped his daughter to become quite interested. Another parent was pleased to have her son involved in a nature study. She noted that he had not been exposed to a nature study for some time.
Because bugs tended to be a very broad topic, it would be advantageous to narrow the topic down for future investigations. Children could choose a type of bug and perhaps work in small groups to learn and share information.
The teachers were pleased with the study considering the amount of time they had to work on it. It helped to get started during the first week of camp to get the children's ideas on which way the study should flow. The cumulative projects were decided by the teachers, it would have been nice for the children to have participated in this process more. Summer proved to be a very good time to do this project, other classroom teachers commented on how well things were going. Information children may have learned during the Bug Study were: