This months curriculum in my preschool class is bugs. We have been learning all about butterflies,spiders,caterpillars,bees, etc. On the playground yesterday my class and I accidentally stumbled upon a black beetle. I decided to go with the flow and we captured the bug and placed him into a clear plastic cup with a lid to study. I thought to myself: this is a great teachable moment. I told the children that we could take Mr. Beetle inside and exam him in the cup. I explained that we had to take great care as not to shake the cup or squish the bug. We sat around and passed the bug cup around to each student at circle time. The children laughed and squealed with delight/fright at the honor of holding the bug. We talked about how many legs he had and took out our book of bugs to find out more about him. I told the children that we were just going to borrow the bug for awhile and explained that we needed to release him back to nature unharmed.
The day went on and it was nap time. I ended up going home before the children awoke from nap. As I was laying down last night to sleep I realized that I had forgotten to have the children place the bug back outside. This morning at work the first thing I did was check to see if the bug was still among the living. He was. So at circle time we all bid a farewell to Mr. Beetle. I told the children that the bug was missing his mom and dad and he needed to go home. I reminded them about how they feel when their moms and dads are at work.
We all went outside and I opened the cup Mr.Beetle scurried out of the cup to the sound of the children's laughter and screams. He walked two feet away and then stopped and turned back to our classroom door. Suddenly out of nowhere came a ugly lizard. What happened next was like watching an accident in slow motion. Quick as the wink of an eye Mr. Ugly Lizard scooped Mr. Beetle into his mouth. The last thing we saw was Mr. Beetle inside the lizards mouth he was upside down and his legs were thrashing wildly into the air.
I tried to grab the lizard ( did I think that he would let go of his spoils?) off ran the lizard with the beetle under the fence to the land of no return. I felt so awful and I was stunned to think that my actions led to the beetles demise. I had to bottle up my feelings and deal with the children's emotions. Hey kids! Wasn't that great how Mr. Lizard came to give Mr. Beetle a ride home? That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Later on I shared my story with my fellow teachers, at first they laughed then one teacher asked me "Were any children traumatized?" I said "No , the only one traumatized was me and I think that I shall have to take the rest of the day off to recover."