The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

September 11, 2008

Bug displays take unique turn

DANVILLE — A sculpture made with Play-Doh, a Christmas tree with lights, a drawing of a windshield.

Perhaps these are not what most people think of when it comes to the time-honored bug collection science project.

But for Ellen Wright’s North Ridge Middle School sixth-graders, these visions and more remind them of the bugs in their own backyard.

Each year, Wright assigns her students a bug collection project they have to display neatly and creatively — but she got more than what she asked for this year. Students could do one of two project types: collect insects and display them creatively or create a habitat model for one specific insect and write a report on it.

“They did things I never would have come up with,” Wright said. “They’re way more creative than I ever ways.”

Her students who collected bugs — with a little help from their parents — took to Kickapoo State Park, Kennekuk County Park, the Wetlands Boardwalk and their backyards, to come up with a group of at least 15 individual bugs.

Both groups of students came up with a varied sample of artwork and creepy crawly displays.

Those who made habitats came up with comfy surroundings for their six-legged subjects. Darrien Rose created a honeycomb made of a glass jar encrusted with Play-Doh, while Cierra Sherrill made a grass-covered home for a praying mantis.

A’Shonte Odie made a Play-Doh display of the life cycle of her favorite bug, the butterfly. Another student made a dessert landscape out of a wooden box and sand that resembled the Mexican dessert for her chosen beetle.

Paige Crippin said capturing her bugs wasn’t too hard.

“It’s easier to catch them than you think,” she said. “It’s pretty interesting.”

DruhanParker displayed his monarch butterfly, cicadas, crickets and grasshoppers on a poster board decorated as a windshield. His windshield even had moveable windshield wipers and highlighted areas where the bugs “splattered” against the glass.

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