my ds had a "it's a bug's life" class trip yesterday to the Children's Discovery Centre in St. Catharines. it was horrible! the first thing they learned about was how to identify an insect (okay, that part was good). the children were then taught which insects are pests (flies, fleas, mosquitos, cockroaches and moths - being "pests" because they carry disease, bite us, eat our food or make holes in our clothes
) and which insects are our friends (butterflies, honey bees, preying mantis and dragon flies - being "friends" because they pollinate flowers, make honey for US, or eat mosquitos).
the children were then taken outside to the "beneficial/earth garden" to release ladybugs and crickets. the ladybugs were kept in film containers smelling of toxic chemicals (from the film) and a few were dead when it was time to release them. the instructor seemed somewhat surprised by this as she thought she had already successfully discarded all the dead ones
. my sweet little man didn't get a ladybug (dead or alive) and so he was handed a cricket - a dead cricket. she put her hand back into the bag (heavily coated with condensation) and pulled out 10 dead crickets. "hmmm....how could that have happened? oh, well..." *me screaming inside*.
once the living ladybugs were released into the garden the 27 kindergarten kids were sent running into the tall mass of weeds and wildflowers to trample them and any other "friend" to death. i could not believe this was happening - i just stood there dazed and confused. one child brought the instructor a half-smooched caterpillar to which she replied "cool". he dropped it at her feet and went off in search of more.
wow. i knew we should have skipped this one!!! but really, was any of that destruction and loss of life really necessary to teach the children to hate flies? because that's all they came away with.