While looking through math materials the other day, I came upon three interesting classroom tools that focus on sorting bugs.
This first one is called “Scoop-a-Bug Sorting Kit” and is pretty interesting. The bugs are clearly fake, with exaggerated attributes, such as bright and vivid colors, which are easily identified by children. The scoopers look a bit like scissors with wide holes for fingers but rather than blades there is a clear scooper that can pick up the bugs in order to place them in the clear specimen jars. Break this set out onto your math manipulatives table and I bet the kids are drawn to it like moths to a flame (get it?).
This second set is simply called “Real Bugs Discovery Kit”. The sorting mechanism is far less interesting but the bugs themselves are really cool. They are real specimens encased in clear acrylic so the children can see them from all angles. It comes with a book of information about each specimen (there are a dozen in all).
Next is a set that focuses on size and sorting. The bugs come in small, medium and large and can be sorted into each section of the box. You can change the categories to yellow, blue, and red, or legs, wings, or shells. These options make it a bit more interesting but if you already have a set of classroom insects, you could create your own sorting map, or sectioned box with any attributes you choose.