Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Frank the Ladybug

This June, I received an adorable, knit ladybug finger puppet as a gift from my head teacher. I knew there was a character in that little puppet, and I hoped to put together a short video piece for this month on the blog. However, I realized I wanted to do a little testing with the puppet first. I had to do some ladybug research, see what educators were already doing with ladybugs, and try the puppet out in my summer camp classroom. We spent last week investigating bugs, and it was the perfect time.

I learned that ladybugs are beetles who are called ladybirds in England. For whatever reason, I found it surprising that there are male ladybugs as well as females. I'm 26...I should have thought about that before. The name is really deceiving, and I didn't want my students to go through life thinking ladybugs were cute, girly bugs. They are kick-ass flying beetles who sometimes create infestations...that's big stuff!

I named my ladybug Frank and gave him a gruff, cab driver voice. This surprised the children and made them giggle. Though Frank was on my finger the whole time, the children maintained strong eye contact with the character and seemed to differentiate when I was talking as Christina and when Frank was talking.

Frank introduced a new song to the group. I found this tune on YouTube, and I promise it sounds much cuter when Frank and I sing it. I found it was successful with the children because the "repeat after me" style helps them sing and recall the lyrics.

Oh, ladybug! Oh, ladybug! Oh won't you be my friend?

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