CM . . . .
Volume V Number 6 . . . . November 13, 1998
Mealworms go through four stages - egg, larva, pupa and adult. The change from one stage to another is called metamorphosis, which means change of body form. Here is what happens at every stage.Any child fascinated by the world of natural science will have a good time reading about the life cycle of a mealworm. Adrienne Mason has written a useful guide for young children about insects, their life cycles, methods for survival, etc. The book explains the process of metamorphosis succinctly, while introducing scientific descriptions in the text. The subject is divided up into topics to develop the explanation of the process, and includes a 'metamorphosis match' - where children match the pupa with the adult, etc. Children are instructed in how to grow their own mealworms, including how to make sure they are put back after the observations are completed.
The realistic illustrations by Angela Vaculik will fascinate a child and make an adult cringe. The hands-on activities make this book useful in the classroom. At five mealworms for 25 cents, plus the cost of a bottle of bran, a teacher would be able to grow many mealworms without worrying about breaking the school budget. And children would get a worthwhile look at the amazing activities that take place in the smallest of creatures.
Harriet Zaidman is a teacher-librarian at Niakwa Place School in Winnipeg. Manitoba.
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