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This post has been co-written with Ben Wolfson, a full-time educator and assistant principal in the USA.
There’s something fascinating about the world of bugs and insects for your kindergarten students. For many, it’s the small size that makes them interesting, and the sheer variety of shapes, colors and anatomies always keeps your students coming back for more. Spring is the perfect time for a bug theme in your classroom, and you can get more than just scientific investigations out of these themes. In this simple spring graphing printable, your students will practice bugs graphing skills by going outside and counting the number of bugs that fit each of the major categories. Not only is this a fun outdoor math activity for kindergarten but it gets your students talking about counting and classifying bugs.
Teaching Bar Graphs In Kindergarten
Teaching your kindergarten students how to draw a graph is an essential mathematical skill that will come back every year as they learn more about representing data. This bugs graphing task uses the standard block model, where the students are already provided with a labeled y axis (in this case, the labels are cartoon images of each of the bugs that they need to find), and the x axis is already divided into uniform blocks so that it’s easy to see how many of each kind of bug there are. This sets the stage for students being able to draw their own bar graph in future years as it highlights the importance of uniform block size and labeled axes.
Preparing Your Bugs Graphing Printable
For this activity you will need:
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Teaching bar graphs in kindergarten is simple with this spring graphing printable. Just download, print one page per students and head outside with your clipboards and bug identification charts in hand!
Learning the mechanics of how to draw a graph is fairly simple with this spring graphing printable. If you’re worried that you won’t find enough of the “right kind” of bugs for this outdoor math activity for kindergarten, you can buy a set of plastic bugs for students to count and graph in your classroom. Once they’ve mastered how to represent their counting data in a bar graph, you can have them answer the following types of questions to extend their mathematical understanding:
Maximum and minimum – the first data points that your students should be able to identify is the bugs with the maximum and minimum frequency. A bonus challenge would be to have them count up how many of each bug they saw, but just being able to identify the tallest and smallest bars is enough for kindergarten.
More than and less than – building on the previous skill of comparing the size of different bars, ask students to complete sentences such as “there are _____ butterflies than worms” with the words “more” and “less”. You can then explore the terminology of “equal amounts” as part of this discussion.
Find the difference – a final extension task using the data from your students’ bar graphs is to have them use their additive skills to calculate the numerical difference between two different types of bugs (for example, “there are _____ more crickets than snails”)
Like this? Then you’ll love my 10 Bugs and Butterflies Themed Literacy and Math Centers. These easy-prep games will get your students working on letters, phonics, numbers and more!
1) Bugs Playdough Counting Mats – Blank ten frame to count out playdough ball ‘insects’ + playdough number formation
2) Butterfly Spots Counting Clipcards to 20
3) Bugs Arrange By Size – 5 different bugs, 6 sizes each
4) Bumblebee Match By Math – Match the bee to the correct flower by solving the simple addition sums to 10
5) Caterpillar Complete The Pattern Strips – Use pompoms, dot markers, dot stickers, or other colored manipulatives to complete the patterns. Includes ABAB, AABB, ABCABC and ABCB patterns.
6) Butterfly Alphabet Match – Upper and lowercase matching cards. Single color and multicolor letter cards included
7) Catching Butterfly Beginning Sounds – Match objects to the correct letters.
8) Caterpillar Order Alphabet Strips – Look at the set of 5 letters and decide if they’re in the correct order then choose thumbs up or down.
9) Ladybug Tracing Lines – Fine motor pre-writing practice, 4 mats included.
10) Leaves for Lunch Ants Alphabet Sort – Divide up letter cards into vowels and consonants.
Books About Insects That We Love:
Other Free Insect Printables You’ll Love:
1) Counting 1 to 20 Ladybugs – Include this free printable in your insect learning unit to combine math and fine motor strengthening this Spring.
2) Firefly Counting – This math activity is perfect for preschool, kindergarten, and homeschooling or for busy parents looking for something their little one can do independently.
3) Bugs Graphing – Kids will love using this hands-on math printable graphing the number of bugs they can find outdoors or, if you don’t have a garden, indoors in a sensory tub.
4) Counting Colorful Bugs Book – Printable bug-themed counting and coloring book from 1 to 10, great for spring!
5) Honey Bee Life Cycle – hands-on printable about the life cycle of bumblebees.
6) Count The Worms 1-10 – Practice early math skills while strengthening fine motor muscles with this set of clip cards that are perfect for Spring.
7) Insects Sort By Quantity – Help preschoolers develop number sense with this insect-themed activity
8) Bumblebee Addition Game – Colorful bee-themed math game for kids to practice simple sums to 10.
9) Count The Bees 1-10 – Bee-themed activities are always a hit at our house and this set of 1-10 counting clip cards is no exception!
10) Count The Fireflies 1-10 – Count up to 10 fireflies caught in the jar.
Educational Tools For Your Classroom:
Other Spring Printables You’ll Love:
1) May Spring Printable Worksheets Pack – 50 pages of free printable worksheets including a variety of literacy, math, and fine motor activities.
2) Spring Flowers Draw and Count – Students will need to draw the number of flowers stated on the page.
3) Spring Code Words – Solve the coded puzzle to find out the Spring themed vocabulary words.
4) Spring Counting Clipcards – This activity is perfect for preschool number recognition, one-to-one correspondence, and counting skills.
5) Spring Color By Number Pack – There are 6 spring-themed color-by-number pages included in this pack.
6) Bird Theme 3 Part Cards – Set up this free printable as proper 3 part cards for a spring literacy activity or as a preschool science center to help your students learn the names of different birds.
7) Weather Math Worksheets Pack – 9 different math worksheets inside this weather-themed activity pack for working on number order, shapes, counting etc.
8) Count The Kites 1-10 – Practice counting while strengthening their little hand muscles at the same time with this set of counting clip cards.
9) Raindrops Counting Frames – Keep your kids busy indoors with this rain-themed counting activity.
10) Missing Number Eggs – Practice counting from 1-20 with this cut and paste activity.
Browse My Most Popular Math Printables:
1) Parking Cars Tracing Lines – More than 10 different tracing line patterns to choose from, all of which help with pencil control.
2) Scarecrow Arrange By Size – 3 different scarecrow-themed image sets that they will arrange from smallest to biggest.
3) Bumblebee Addition Game – Solve the sum and help the bee land on the correct flower!
4) Farm Shapes Mats – Use playdough, pompoms, stickers etc to learn 2D shapes.
5) Popsicle Stick Number Formation – Kids will love forming the numbers 1 to 10 when ice cream and popsicles are involved!
8) Counting Colorful Bugs – This printable book will help kids count to 10 while also learning about color words.
9) Humpty Dumpty Numbers – In this printable game, your students will practice number recognition using 1 dice or simple addition when using 2 dice.
10) Build A Number Santa – Match the number to the correct number word, tally mark and domino to form a Santa Claus
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