Holy Moly! Roly Polys at Woodlawn!

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Most of us have held a Roly-poly before…that gentle little garden creature that rolls up into a ball when disturbed or scared. It’s an easy creature to like; they don’t bite, they tickle your hand when they crawl on you and they can protect themselves! Today in the garden, Kinder and 1st grade learned more about roly-polys starting with their actual true name…Pill bug!

I explained to the kids that we would now be referring to this little creature by its true name, not the “cutesy” name. I also explained that pill bugs are part of a greater family of creatures named Isopods. Most Isopods live in the sea, and in fresh water and they are closely related to shrimp! I told the students that they like to live in groups and also with their cousin the Sow Bug. We talked about what they eat, how they need to be around water to survive, and how they have 7 legs on one side of their body and 7 legs on the other side! I let the kids do the math!

The kids returned to the work tables with lots of information! They discovered creatures that look like pill bugs but don’t roll up when scared and are much faster than pill bugs … Sow Bugs! The kids found out that sow bugs  and pill bugs look  very much alike but sow bugs sometimes have different colored bodies.  Sow bugs and pill bugs live together and eat the same things like strawberries and eggplant and they also like dark moist places.

The kids drew pictures of pill bugs and sow bugs in their environments.  I told them I didn’t want to see any floating or flying pill bugs!!!

After a morning of searching, collecting and learning about pill bugs, the kids left the garden with their favorite treat, stevia and mint!!

 

 

Alex Aleshire

Alex Aleshire has been playing in the dirt for as long as she can remember! As an avid edible gardener with a background in child development, she has a passion for connecting people with the earth. After designing "Outdoor Classroom"  gardens for several schools, she became a Los Angeles Master Gardener and a Grow LA Victory Garden coordinator. "Helping children gain respect for where their food comes from and teaching them that their choices about food affect their health, the environment, and their communities, is a great passion of mine" When Alex isn't gardening, she's over the potter's wheel, painting, camping and taking care of her kids, hubby, pups, cats, chicks, bees, turtle and fish! Whew!

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