Special Offer

Click to subscribe


Special offers for:
ASE Members
Small Schools
Groups of schools
Teacher delegates at conferences and Primary Upd8 courses


The Centre for Science Education
The Association for Science Education
Part of ASE
Ladybird, Ladybird, where is your home?

Topic: 2B Plants and animals in the local environment

This is a FREE activity. In recent decades many species of insects, including ladybirds, have been shown to be in decline. There is considerable concern because many insects play extremely important roles in the functioning of ecosystems. Many ladybirds are predators and as such can control pest insects. Therefore, understanding the ecology and distribution of ladybirds is extremely important - submitting records of observations of ladybirds contributes to our understanding.

Large activity image
Try the Activity Learning Objective

Click to Download Ladybird, ladybird, where is your home activity
Ladybird, ladybird, where is your home activity

Click to Download Ladybird, ladybird KS1 Teacher's Notes
Ladybird, ladybird KS1 Teacher's Notes


You will need Acrobat Reader installed to open the activity sheets.

You will also need the latest version of the flash player to be able to play swf files.

To develop observation skills and describe the features of a ladybird
To extend children's knowledge of ladybirds and their habitats
To observe similarities and differences between ladybirds
To observe similarities and differences between ladybirds and butterflies

Curriculum Link

Science Enquiry
Make careful observations of ladybirds
Collect and record information about the ladybirds in the local environment

Variation and Classification
Group ladybirds according to observable similarities and differences

Living things in their environment
Find out abut different kinds of ladybirds in the local environment

Running the Activity

Introducing the Activity

Ask children to describe the features of the ladybird on Page 1
Discuss the colour and markings on the ladybird
Can they see any clues that might tell them if ladybird can fly
Draw children's attention to the wings when describing the features of the ladybird

Ladybird Habitats
Read the ladybird, ladybird nursery rhyme with your class
Ask the children to think about where the ladybird might have flown home to.
Ask the children if they have ever seen ladybirds. Where did they see them? Ask if they can remember when they saw it (which season).
Tell the children they will be going on a ladybird hunt. They will be finding out where ladybirds live, their habitats.

Spot the Difference:

Make children aware of the different species of ladybirds in the UK by playing "Spot the Difference". Give children copies of the Ladybird spotter sheets available from http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/breathingplaces/images/activity-ladybird-idrecord.pdf. Ask children to choose 2 ladybirds and spot the differences between them.
Repeat the activity choosing a different pair of ladybirds.

Ladybird Life Cycle
Discuss the life cycle of the ladybird on page 4.(see Science at your Fingertips below for information on when - and where - it is best to look for different stages of the ladybird life cycle)

The Ladybird Hunt
Ask the children to think about how they should behave when they go on the ladybird hunt. Talk about respecting the ladybirds and keeping any ladybirds they find safe. Remind children that the ladybirds have to be returned to their habitats at the end of the hunt.
Talk to the children about being good ladybird hunters. The clues they need to look out for are:
What is the place like - Bright? Sunny? Dry? Damp? Shady?
Where is the ladybird located? On a tree? On nettle plants? On vegetable plants?
What does the ladybird look like? How many spots? What colour is it? Can they match it with one of the pictures on their worksheet?
During the ladybird hunt encourage the children to work in groups to explore different areas.

Submitting the record
Back in the classroom log onto the UK Ladybird Survey http://www.brc.ac.uk/iRecord/index.php?q=enter-ladybird-records and submit your record.

Web Links

The UK Ladybird Survey
Information on the UK ladybird survey and interactive survey

BBC Breathing Places
Support and advice for carrying out a ladybird hunt

Nature Detectives
Information about different ladybirds

The Great Bug Hunt
Competition and information on hunting for bugs in school grounds

Reviews & Comments

Write your online review to share your feedback and classroom tips with other teachers. How well does it work, how engaging is it, how did you use it, and how could it be improved?