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Meet the Insects: Forest Edition
Pros: Beautiful graphics, tons of scientific content, and plenty of opportunities for kids to assess their learning.
Cons: The number of insects discussed is somewhat limited, and the video narrations are too short.
Bottom Line: An age-appropriate, interactive multimedia resource that brings insect info to life.
Use Meet the Insects: Forest Edition as an instructional supplement for a unit about animals. Have kids work in small groups to read the chapters in the Insect Story section, stopping to discuss each chapter as a class. If possible, take kids outside to look for and identify forest insects. Kids can use the Observation Journal to record their findings. It could be fun to use the app as a resource for a class project. Have kids work in groups of three or four to create a digital slideshow presentation showing what they learned in the See Insects section.
Meet the Insects: Forest Edition is an interactive digital resource that teaches kids about several forest-dwelling insects. The app is organized into five main areas: Multimedia, Insect Story, Observation Journal, See Insects, and Quiz. The Multimedia section includes brief videos and photographs of insects, giving kids a close-up view into the behaviors of these interesting animals. The Insect Stories section is a narrated, animated chapter book with topics including classification, life cycles, and characteristics of forest insects. The Observation Journal includes a section for kids to enter written observations and a section for them to view their entries. The See Insects section includes more detailed information about the three main groups of forest insects, and the Quiz section offers kids an opportunity to test their knowledge.
The app does an excellent job of teaching with a mix of basic content, fun facts, beautiful graphics, and video resources. Kids can learn about the classification, characteristics, habitats, life cycles, and behaviors of forest-dwelling insects. Three orders of insects are discussed, including order Coleoptera, order Lepidoptera, and order Hemiptera. Within each order, kids can learn details and fun facts about specific insects that belong to that group. Videos and photographs show the behavior of insects, and a digital journal allows kids to take notes about any insects they encounter in nature. Kids can take either a true/false quiz or a photo identification quiz to test their knowledge.