Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Web of Facts

If you get a moment, check out the web of spider facts in the craft room at the Millbury Public Library! The kids and parents did a great job making spiders and adding facts on the back.
As part of his homework, one student brought in spiders he and his mom made from marshmallows and pretzels. Yummy, but we talked about and realized that his creation is actually a harvestmen and not a true spider. The marshmallow is only one body part and spiders have two.

Check out some other activities on spiders here.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fun Friday Fact

Trees sweat.

Ok, they don't exactly sweat like we do in response to heat, but they do respire. Respiring means they give off moisture. Try putting a plastic bag over the leaves of a tree in the afternoon. Check it the next morning and the inside will have water in it. This is where the tree essentially exhaled moisture. You know, tree sweat.

Leaf Motels and Restaurants

When you rake leaves this fall, take a moment to check out the leaves before you dive in or mulch them.

Do any of them have chew marks from insects? Do they have holes where a bug munched? These are leaf restaurants. Many different kinds of insects eat leaves. Were the insects big or little? How do you know?

What leaves to you eat? We eat all sorts of leaves such as lettuce, spinach, kale, and seaweed.

Look closely at the leaves and you might see bumps on them. The bumps are where insects make their homes. Many times it is a mother insect laying eggs under the skin of the leaf. Her babies will hatch out in a safe spot and burrow out or start eating the leaf. This is a leaf motel where the insect stays for a while.

If you want to save your leaves you can dry them in a book and then paste them in your own book or iron them between two pieces of wax paper. But before you do, make sure your leaf isn't an insect motel!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Book Review: Crinkleroot's Guide to Knowing the Trees

Crinkleroot's Guide to Knowing the Trees by Jim Arnosky is an amazing field guide. This book is illustrated beautifully and while that isn't always my preference for non-fiction books, this is a perfect exception. Crinkleroot tells about trees and why they are important, shows you how to identify common trees and shares a love of the trees with kids a grown ups alike.

This isn't a story book but a can be used as a field guide. If you have a leaf you can use this book to help you find what tree it came from. The illustrations are compelling.

You might have noticed that there was no link to a book retailer on this book. It isn't available as a new book directly from a retailer, but check your local library. If they don't have it, the superhero librarians should be able to find you a copy.

5/5 stars.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Animal of the Week: Leaf Miners

Leaf miners leave a trail inside the leaves of trees and other plants. A mother insect will lay an egg under the skin of a leaf and the egg hatches. The larvae or baby is hungry so it eats the leaf.

As the larvae grow, they eat bigger and bigger trails. As the leaves fall from the trees, check to see if you can find any leaf miners. Their trails sometimes have little black specks in them. This is frass or bug poop.

image from

Monday, October 10, 2011

Messy Fingers Starts Tomorrow!!

There is still room if you want to join in the fun with a four week class at the Millbury Public Library.

The class starts Tuesday, October 11, 2011, at 10:30 a.m. and will continue for the following three weeks.

Pumpkins will be on deck tomorrow and we will be digging into their squishy guts tomorrow- doesn't that sound like fun?

Register at the library - (508) 865 1181!