Cycle 3

Looking Closely: BUGS

In this exploration (which we’ve modified from the work of our colleagues Kaytee Smith, Colin Brammer, Rebecca Bulvanoski, Jha’Mai Milindez, and Debra Pagona at the Tar River Writing Project) we get to explore bugs! As with the last invitation, you are welcome to join in where you can, tackle the projects that appeal to you, get out of your comfort zone and try something new, or show off skills you already have. We invite you to go on a bug hunt, create your own bug and write a six-word bug story!

Suggested Materials:

  • Camera or phone
  • Computer with internet connectivity
  • Variety of found materials. Some ideas might include: cotton balls, pipe cleaners, leaves, empty water or soda bottles, plastic forks, twigs, felt, craft sticks, paper towel and toilet paper rolls, strips of paper, bottle caps, paint, wood scraps, tissue paper… and glue
  • Writing materials—paper, pencil or pen, etc.
  • Kidzone Spider Facts

Step 1: Explore 

If you want to get fancy, you can go on a bug scavenger hunt! (See: Bug Scavenger Hunt: FREE printable.) Take a walk inside or out and search for bugs! Where can you find them? There are endless and unexpected places to find bugs. Take a walk, look for bugs crawling around the sidewalks, in the grass, or on flowers. Sometimes you can find a bug just by looking out your window. 

Once you find an insect, take a few minutes to sit or stand to examine the bug closely. Draw what you see. Notice the details—the eyes and legs and colors. Notice what it is sitting or standing or moving on.

Step 2: Create

Part 1: Create Your Own Bug: using found items, from cotton balls to leaves, you can remix your bug any way you like. If you want to be precise, click here for a helpful Bug Body Hack Fact Chart.  Five classifications of insects are listed on the chart: you can make any kind of insect you like,or mix it up.  If you want to get fancy, you can even build a house for your bug!

Part 2: Write a Six Word Story About Your BUG! Take your bug on an adventure by writing about it in a poem, a story, or a drawing using only six words or images. Or, create a sign so people know the name of your bug, where the bug lives, and anything important to know about taking care of the bug in six words.

Check out Violet’s original composition about wanting to be a butterfly:


Think about the kind of house this bug would like to live in and draw a design for a bug house. It could be a house you could actually build or an imaginary play house for the bug and her family. See how to build a bug hotel…


Paper Butterflies


Part of being a writer is sharing your work and ideas with others! You might have other people you want to share this with, we invite you to send this out or take a picture to send to friends and family who would be interested and want to see your bug creation! And share with us! We’d love to see it. You can upload a photo of your bug and/or writing using the comments section below.


Find a book or poem in your house or at the digital library about insects. Here are some we love:

In addition to the comments below, you can share your creations on social media with the hashtags #WriteNow #NWP #kidwriting. Tag the National Writing Project on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram so that we can help others find what you post. Finally, follow our publication Write Now on Medium or sign up for the Write Now newsletter.