Rowan and I had great fun over the last few days creating an Eastern Pondhawk, more properly known as Erythemis simplicicollis. She had an assignment for science to make a model of an insect that was at least 12 inches long and was as realistic as possible. I don't think we did too badly with a bit of papier-mâché, paint, tissue paper, and glitter. It is, by the way, a female. The male is quite different - a lovely blue.
My only complaint about the project is that it wasn't tied to a greater lesson plan. The class is apparently studying some system of the human body right now; nothing to do with insects. They didn't have to learn anything about their insect, write a short essay, nothing. Very disappointing, but not atypical. Ah well, at least we'll have a cool model to hang in the house.
Here's a photo of the real thing I stole from BugGuide. Pretty, isn't it?