As the ponds thaw and fill with spring rains it is a wonderful time to explore a local pond with your children. In preparation for this lesson, be sure to dress appropriately. Rubber boots are a good idea since the edge of ponds are often muddy. Take a scoop (and old plastic pitcher or milk jug works great).
Two common water insects at a fresh water pond that were in MOONGLOW, are the water strider and water boatman. After a few scoops in the pond you should have a few specimens to observe. Pour your water into a shallow plastic (always a better idea to use plastic containers with children) light colored dish or tray.
Have the children discuss the insects; color, movement, body parts, etc. The have them focus their observations on the insects legs; how many they have and how they use them for movement. Further investigation would be to have the children research how and why a water strider can walk on top of the water. Hint; something to do with surface tension!