Learning Plans & Activities
"Getting Buggy"


Adapted from a learning plan by Pamela Cassel. Science/Language Arts: "Getting Buggy" with David Biedrzycki. School Library Monthly 28, no. 8, May–June 2012, pp. 53–55.

Grade Levels: 2–3

Lesson Summary: This lesson utilizes fiction stories by David Biedrzycki and nonfiction books to review research and technology skills while exploring insects.

Standards Addressed:

AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner

  • Inquire, think critically, and gain knowledge (1.1.1–1.1.6; 1.1.9; 1.2.3; 1.2.4; 1.2.6; 1.3.5; 1.4.2; 1.4.4)
  • Draw conclusions, make informed decisions, apply knowledge to new situations, and create new knowledge (2.1.1–2.1.4; 2.1.6; 2.3.1)
  • Share knowledge and participate ethically and productively as members of our democratic society (3.1.1; 3.1.3; 3.3.4)
  • Pursue personal and aesthetic growth (4.1.1; 4.1.2; 4.1.3; 4.1.6; 4.1.8; 4.2.1; 4.3.2; 4.4.1)

Common Core State Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.1; RI.2.2; RI.2.3; RI.2.4; RI.2.5; RI.2.6; RI.2.7; RI.2.9; RI.2.10
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.2.1; RL.2.4; RL.2.5; RL.2.6; RL.2.10
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.2.1; SL.2.2; SL.2.3
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.1; RI.3.2; RI.3.3; RI.3.4; RI.3.5; RI.3.6; RI.3.7; RI.3.8; RI.3.9; RI.3.10
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.1; RL.3.3; RL.3.4; RL.3.6; RL.3.7; RL.3.10
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.3.1; SL.3.2; SL.3.3

Instructional Resources:



  • Document camera, projector, Smartboard, whiteboard

Instructional Roles:

The classroom teacher and the school librarian will co-teach this lesson by dividing the activities in the manner best suited to their strengths as teachers.

Procedure for Completion:

Day One: The school librarian introduces author David Biedrzcky to the students by sharing background information from his website and blog, including an overview of the books he has illustrated and authored. The three Ace Lacewing books, The Beetle Alphabet Book, The Icky Bug Colors, and The Icky Bug Numbers should be available for the students to look through and ask what they notice about his possible interests (bugs). The school librarian guides the students and points out the author's picture in the back of Ace Lacewing, Bug Detective, Bad Bugs are My Business and points out that he chose to use a photo from when he was a young boy (about their age). The school librarian may want to ask the students what is unusual about the photo (he has antennae on top of his head) and share the information below his photo to discuss why he uses words such as "larvae," "pupa," and "nest," in his author biography. The end papers of Ace Lacewing, Bad Bugs Are My Business showing the map of the City of Motham may be of particular interest as the names of the locations shown on the map relate to the names of insects that are referred to on the map.

The school librarian will read Ace Lacewing, Bad Bugs Are My Business to the class, projecting the illustrations if possible so they can see the many details that have been included and pausing as needed to list insects that are mentioned in the story.

Day Two—Completion: The co-teachers will review the list of insects that the students generated the previous day. Share the information that David Biedrzycki used the facts he had gathered about insects to write the book. Even though Ace Lacewing, Bad Bugs Are My Business is a fiction story, there are many details that are factual about the insect characters. For instance, baby boll weevils grow up inside the cotton bolls and do not emerge until they are adults.

The students are informed that they will become experts in an insect, will be given an Insect Information Organizer handout, and are to choose an insect to research. The co-teachers will guide the students to the appropriate resources and check their handouts as they work. If the notes are complete the students will be given markers, crayons, or colored pencils to create an illustration of their insect.

Completion of Project:

Students will complete the notes and illustration on the Insect Information Organizer.

Student Assessment/Reflection:

The Insect Information Organizer will be assessed based on the project rubric. The teacher and the school librarian will also focus on the process based on observations and conversations with the students throughout the lesson.

Professional Reflection—Librarian Notes:

The original lesson was a precursor for an author visit by David Biedrzycki by familiarizing the students with his books and incorporating the science lesson. The school librarian may want to investigate the possibility of bringing the author to the school or have a local expert on the subject visit.


Ashley, S. (2011). Incredible Ants. New York, NY: Gareth Stevens.

Ashley, S. (2011). Incredible Grasshoppers. New York, NY: Gareth Stevens.

Ashley, S. (2011). Incredible Ladybugs. New York, NY: Gareth Stevens.

Ashley, S. (2011). Incredible World of Insects. New York, NY: Gareth Stevens.

Biedrzycki, D. (2008). Ace Lacewing: Bug Detective. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.

Biedrzycki, D. (2011). Ace Lacewing, Bug Detective: Bad Bugs Are My Business. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.

Biedrzycki, D. (2010). Ace Lacewing, Bug Detective: The Big Swat. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.

Biedrzycki, D., & Pallotta, J. (2004). The Beetle Alphabet Book. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.

Hall, M. (2006). Dragonflies. Mankato, MN: Capstone Press.

Hall, M. (2006). Fireflies. Mankato, MN: Capstone Press.

Hall, M. (2004). Praying Mantises. Mankato, MN: Capstone Press.

Howard, F. (2005). Walkingsticks. Mankato, MN: Capstone Press.

Miller, C. C. (2011). The Creepiest Animals. Mankato, MN: Capstone Press.

Miller, C. C. (2007). Disgusting Bugs. Mankato, MN: Capstone Press.

Pallotta, J., & Biedrzycki, D. (illus.) (2004). The Icky Bug Colors. New York, NY: Scholastic.

Pallotta, J., & Biedrzycki, D. (illus.) (2004). The Icky Bug Numbers. New York, NY: Scholastic.

Sexton, C. A. (2009). Aphids. Minneapolis, MN: Bellweather Media.

Online Resources:

David Biedrzycki's blog: http://davidbiedrzycki.com/sandbox/davids-blog/

David Biedrzycki's website: http://www.davidbiedrzycki.com/Its_All_About_Me.html

Additional Suggestions from SLC:

Ashley, Susan. Incredible Butterflies. The Incredible World of Insects series. Gareth Stevens Publishing, 2011.

Everything Insects. Kids Everything series. National Geographic Society, 2015.

Murray, Julie. Ants. Buddy Books: Insects series. ABDO, 2011.

Rodriguez, Ana Maria. Vampire Bats, Giant Insects, and Other Mysterious Animals of the Darkest Caves. Extreme Animals in Extreme Environments series. Enslow Publishers, 2012.

Smith, Matthew Clark. Small Wonders: Jean-Henri Fabre & His World of Insects. Two Lions, 2015.

Spilsbury, Richard. Zoom in on Bizarre Bugs. Zoom In On series. Enslow Publishers, 2013.

This lesson plan is excerpted from The Common Core in Action: Ready-to-Use Lesson Plans for K-6 Librarians by Deborah J. Jesseman. Libraries Unlimited. Copyright © 2015.

The Common Core in Action: Ready-to-Use Lesson Plans for K-6 Librarians by Deborah J. Jesseman is available from Libraries Unlimited

Deborah J. Jesseman

MLA Citation Jesseman, Deborah J. "'Getting Buggy'." School Library Connection, April 2018, schoollibraryconnection.com/Home/Display/2027460?topicCenterId=2158551.

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Entry ID: 2027460

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