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Larger-Than-Life Fireflies

Fireflies are a sure sign of summer. In this replica habitat, these delightful insects will capture your imagination!

  • Grade 2
    Grade 3
    Grade 4
  • Directions

    1. Invite students to study fireflies’ lives and habitats. Provide a variety of text and electronic resources for students to view during this activity. Students review findings and then create a replica in a large, clear plastic jar. Shape Crayola Model Magic® grass, leaves, branches, rocks, and the firefly. The following ideas will get the artwork started.
    2. Roll out long snake pieces of Model Magic compound to form grass. Flatten and cut leaves with Crayola Scissors or a craft stick. Roll a small piece of red and add some dots to form a lady bug. Shape a small ball of Model Magic into an acorn. Shape Model Magic branches on chenille stem or wire armatures. Air-dry the pieces flat for 3 days.
    3. Make a larger-than-life firefly with Black Model Magic compound. Wrap the compound around a craft stick or other armature to form the bug’s body. Cut small pieces of wire for antennae, wrap them with Model Magic compound, and insert in the bug’s head.
    4. To make wings, cut two small oval pieces of cardboard, cover with Model Magic designs, and attach to body. Press a piece of Model Magic compound on the bottom the bug. Air-dry fireflies for 3 days.
    5. Mound crumpled foil in the bottom of the jar and cover with Model Magic compound to look like soil. Place the habitat pieces in the jar. Press one end of a wire or a chenille stem into the firefly and the other into the mound of soil. It will look like it’s flying!
    6. With a rolling pin, roll out additional Model Magic compound. Cut out a circle larger than top of jar. Drape over the top for a realistic look. Air-dry entire display (with the lid off). Model Magic® dries to the touch overnight and dries completely in 2 to 3 days.
    7. Secure the lid with a chenille stem.
    8. Students share their firefly habitats with classmates.
  • Standards

    LA: Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.

    LA: Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).

    LA: Compare and contrast the most important points and key details presented in two texts on the same topic.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

    LA: Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.

    LA: With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

    MATH: Generate measurement data by measuring lengths using rulers marked with halves and fourths of an inch.

    SCI: Use evidence about organisms in their natural habitats to design an artificial habitat in which the organisms can survive well.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

    VA: Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: Sam and the Firefly by P. D. Eastman; Night Fairies #2: Lexi the Firefly Fairy by Daisy Meadows; The Very Lonely Firefly by Eric Carle

    Student groups research various species of fireflies. Document the length of each species. Create a chart to organize research. Students create a 3-D model of each of these species to scale. A glass jar habitat is also created for each of the species. Display these glass habitats in the classroom. Include a short written summary of the species and appropriate habitat for each 3-D model.

    Take students on a field trip of their school yard. Students identify birds or animals that are indigenous to the area. Students sketch each animal or bird. Research to uncover whether or not any of these creatures are on the endangered species list. Uncover how these animals and birds contribute to, or damage, the local environment.

    How do fireflies glow in the dark? Students research the chemical process that occurs to create this unique action.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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