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donnaodonnellfigurski.com - SMELLY STINK BUGS

Smelly Stink Bugs
Written by Meish Goldish

Publisher: Bearport Publishing Company
ISBN-13: 9781597165808
Ages: 5 - 9

Review and lesson plans by
Donna O'Donnell Figurski

Bugs! Bugs! Bugs!  They are just about everywhere. There’s one crawling up my arm. Another just flew by my nose. Some bite. Some sting. Some pinch. Some look downright disgusting. Of course, to be fair, I am not looking at it from a fellow bug’s perspective. One bug may look beautiful to another bug. And . . . some even look beautiful to me.

The delicateness of a praying mantis is exquisite. The colorful, patterned wings on a butterfly look dainty. Ladybugs look like they are ready for a ball dressed in their red, black, or orange shiny, spotted gowns. And the firefly, the light of the night, is enchanting. It’s probably my favorite. I remember trying to count fireflies, as they flickered in the hot summer evenings, when I was just nine. There were tons of them in Erie, Pennsylvania where I grew up. Oh the magic!

They are more than a million species of bugs in the world. Now that is a lot of bugs! Some scientists even think there are a lot more. Take the smelly stink bug for example . . . can you believe there are more than 4,000 kinds of stink bugs? And . . . they all smell bad. But, there’s a very good reason for it. Their bad smell keeps them safe. They not only smell bad, but they taste bad too. Predators stay away from stink bugs.

Meish Goldish, author of Smelly Stink Bugs, shares all kinds of interesting facts about stink bugs with his readers. Did you know that stink bug moms can have five hundred babies at one time? Did you know they use their long beaks to eat? They suck juice from fruits or dead bugs. Yum! I mean . . . Yuck! I think it’s really strange though that stink bugs have no noses. I wonder if that is so they don’t have to smell themselves. Meish signed my book, “Stink bugs stink, but good books . . . don’t!”  So, go ahead. Pick up Smelly Stink Bugs . . . the book, I mean.

This review can also be seen on: SmartWriters
FROM the MOUTHS of KIDDLE CRITers: a critique group

“A stink bug is an insect,” said Danae.

“Stink bugs can lay eggs,” said Rena

Danae nodded. “A mommy stink bug lays a lot of stink bugs at one time,” she said.

“Mommy stink bugs lay up to 500 eggs at a time,” said Mark, looking proud of his knowledge.

“A baby stink bug is called a nymph,” added Rena.

“Baby stink bugs are like ladybugs,” said Mark.

“They let out a bad smell, too,” said Jewel. “They are smelly!”

“Stink bugs seem disgusting,” said Timmy.

“Yeah,” agreed Brayden. “They actually squirt stink slime so their enemies leave.”

“I think stink bugs are gross,” said Mikaela screwing up her face. She was definitely in agreement with Timmy.

“There are about 4,000 kinds of stink bugs,” said Johnny.

Mikaela’s eyes opened wide. “ . . . Which is a LOT of them,” she said.

“Stink bugs can’t chew,” said Rena. “They just suck like a straw.”

“But, stink bugs can camouflage,” said Mark.

“Right,” said Jewel. “They use camouflage to save their lives.”

“And, some do not blend in,” added Danae. “If they don’t have the same color as the leaf, they can’t blend in with it,” she explained.

“When I was listening to this book,” said Timmy, “I thought of a lot of different animals. A stink bug has a smell like a skunk does . . . when it gets scared. It can camouflage like other animals, and it squirts out stuff . . . like reptiles squirt stuff at people.”

Smelly Stink Bugs gives you facts,” said Jewel. “It tells how a stink bug protects itself and how it lives.”

“And that it eats other insects,” said Johnny.

“It tells you about its life cycle and how it sheds,” said Jewel.

“Stink bugs have two antennas, but they have no noses,” said Rena.

“I still think stink bugs are gross,” said Mikaela. “They look weird.”


Getting From Here to There:
Language Arts/Science/Math

Stink bugs are insects. They have a head, thorax, and an abdomen. There are millions of insects in the world. How many can you name? Find a list below of some insects to help you along.

1.    Make a list on chart paper of as many insects that the children can think of. Add     
       some of your favorites, too.
2.    Then divide another piece of chart paper into three columns. Label each column:
       Crawling Insects, Flying Insects, Leaping Insects
3.    Then sort the insects from the chart into the correct category, keeping in mind that
       an insect might fall into more than one category.
       Ex.: Ladybugs can fly and they can crawl.
4.    Use graph paper to graph the results.
5.    Use the suggested insects on the lists below as a jumping off place.

                      FLYING INSECTS
Butterflies               Bees        Ladybugs
Praying Mantis        Flies        Cicadas
Grasshoppers         Moths       Beetles
Dragonflies             Wasps       Katydids
Mosquitoes             Aphids  
                     CRAWLING INSECTS
Cockroaches          Ants           Caterpillars
Stink bugs             Termites      Aphids
Walking Sticks       Mites          Ticks
Ladybugs              Beetles

                    LEAPING INSECTS
Grasshoppers         Crickets        Fleas

What Insect? Insect Identification: Science/Language Arts

Guessing games are always fun. They make you think, too.
Use the list of insects below. Have the children think about unique ways in which they can identify insects. Some examples follow.
  • I can be red with black spots. I am not a man.
  • You might want to plug your nose if you stumble onto me.
  • I make a beautiful song when I rub my back legs together.
  • If you bother me, I might sting you.
  • Sometimes, when I am really hungry, I could eat your clothes.
  • I have a popular girl’s name, but don’t blame me. I DID not do it.
  • I am green and I love to hop.
1.    Have the children write their riddles on a piece of paper. (They can use
      developmental spelling if necessary.) They may work individually or in teams  
      depending on ability.
2.    Then meet as a group and have the children read their riddles aloud while their
       classmates try to guess which insect they are writing about.
3.    Next type the riddles onto strips of paper.
4.    Print enough copies so each child has a class set of riddles.
5.    Then give the children premade blank books so that they may construct riddle books
       about insects. (Use two pieces of 4” x 9” colored construction paper for the covers
       and enough pieces of 4” x 9” manila paper for the inner pages so that each book
       has enough pages for all of the riddles.)
6.    Instruct children to cut out each riddle and glue one riddle per page.
7.    Children should then illustrate their insects. They should be sure their illustrations
       match the text. (A ladybug
       should be red with black dots.) Posting insect pictures around the room can help
       with insect identification.
8.    When all books are completed, have children meet as a group to share their      
       creations with their classmates.

Butterflies               Bees            Ladybugs
Praying Mantis        Flies            Cicadas
Grasshoppers         Moths          Beetles
Dragonflies             Wasps          Katydids
Mosquitoes             Aphids          Fleas
Cockroaches          Ants             Caterpillars
Stink bugs             Termites        Walking Sticks
Mites                     Ticks             Crickets       

(Although I examined these websites and found them to be very helpful, please use them at your own discretion.)

Y.E.S. MINIBEAST WORLD of Insects and Spiders
University of Kentucky Entomology for Kids: Get This Bug Off of Me!
University of Kentucky Entomology for Kids: Read More About Insects and Their Relatives
The Insects Home Page
Insect Songs and Poems
Common Insects: Cleveland Museum of Natural History


Insects Are My Life written by Megan McDonald, illustrated by Paul Brett Johnson
Raising a Little Stink written by Colleeen Sydor, illustrated by Pascale Constantin
Hey There, Stink Bug written by Leslie Bulion, illustrated by Leslie Evans
Stink Bugs and Other True Bugs written by Meish Goldish
No Backbone Insect Series

Other Books About Bugs:

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Hey, Little Ant by Phillip M. Hoose
Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni
Crickwing by Janell Cannon

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