Campus & Community

Butterflies, beetles, and bugs, oh my!: Class brings kids and winged wonders together at Museum of Natural History

2 min read
Children holding a
James Lamb (left), Jeffrey Johnson, Daniel Golson, and Julia Morgan get a close look at a bug. (Staff photos by Rose Lincoln)

One of the many classes offered by the Museum of Natural History (HMNH) took flight last Saturday morning in a burst of color and light. Led by Ann Ambiel, a veteran museum educator, Beetles, Bugs and Butterflies entranced a variety of second- and third-graders. Among other fascinating facts, the students learned which of the following is actually an insect — spiders, scorpions, crickets, or crabs. They learned the life cycle of butterflies. They compared their own athletic abilities to those of fleas — and didn’t fare too well. And they learned why crickets chirp.

The young scientists also got a chance to make styrofoam models of insects (creating legs and antennae for each model) and to draw vividly colored butterflies.

For further information about the educational opportunities available for all age groups in this joint program of the HMNH and the Peabody Museum call (617) 495-2341 or visit

Teacher at exhibit display
Teacher Ann Ambiel (top) points out the butterflies included in the exhibit. Julia Morgan (right) draws wings on her bug. A handmade felt butterfly. Imani Graham (above) listens attentively during the “Beetles, Bugs and Butterflies” class at the Museum of Natural History. Child drawing bug