Promotional image for the Tech Tools for Teachers podcast, episode #186 titled ‘Pest World for Kids.’ The background is bright green with a wavy blue line design. The podcast logo is at the top left, and a photo of Shanna Martin, smiling, is on the right. The episode number and title are displayed in bold text below the logo.

Pest World for Kids

Ever wish you could transport your students into the fascinating world of creepy crawlies? Well, hold on to your antennae because this week’s Tech Tools for Teachers podcast is about to un-bee-lievably scratch that itch!

Pest World for Kids

This week we chat about – an insect enthusiast’s dream site that’s perfect for bugging out in the classroom. This free educational playground lets kids explore the “pests” that inhabit their own backyard jungles through fun games, activities and informative reads.
From ants to beetles to all the zingers in between, Pest World has enough multi-legged mania to keep those curious minds engaged.

The site is loaded with insect awesomeness like ID guides, glossaries, videos and more – all decoded for a kid’s insect-ible eye view. Teachers can dig into educationally-enriched lessons and craft projects that’ll have students excited to learn all about their six-legged neighbors. Even the most squeamish learner may find themselves doing the wiggle dance over how exciting pest life can bee.

With content aimed at the K-5 crew, this site is ideal for sparking outdoor exploration and insect observation. So grab those nets and get ready to embark on some seriously wild pest-capades. For all the buzzworthy details, checkout Episode 186 of the Tech Tools for Teachers podcast. Just don’t get pestered if you suddenly find yourself insanely excited about insects!

(The puns were SO needed this week! 😜)


Related Episodes:

[00:00:00] Shanna Martin: Thanks for listening to the Tech Tools for Teachers podcast, where each week we talk about a free piece or two of technology that you can use in your classroom. I’m your host, Shanna Martin. I’m a middle school teacher, technology, and instructional coach for my district.

[00:00:32] Fuzz Martin: And I’m her producer and husband, Fuzz Martin, and I’m mostly here to make sure that the software doesn’t get too buggy.

[00:00:39] Shanna Martin: Oh, cute. It’s okay. Mine is better.

[00:00:44] Fuzz Martin: Yes. Yours is better. Why?

[00:00:47] Shanna Martin: Because today. We have a super fast lightning *bug* episode.

[00:00:54] Fuzz Martin: There we go. That’s cute.

[00:00:56] Shanna Martin: It is cute. So we’re at the end of the school year. Ooh, we’re getting there.

[00:01:01] Fuzz Martin: Like, you already had your field trip.

[00:01:03] Shanna Martin: I did.

[00:01:04] Fuzz Martin: I’m going on a field trip this week with our daughter.

[00:01:07] Shanna Martin: Field trip season’s happening.

[00:01:09] Fuzz Martin: I get to be a chaperone.

[00:01:10] Shanna Martin: You do. It’s also outside recess time as much as possible, like outside extra recess time. Like, Hey, end of the day. I think. We all need a break and we’re going to go outside.

[00:01:21] Fuzz Martin: This is the time of year where I’m jealous of you.

[00:01:23] Shanna Martin: I’m ready to tear my hair out.

[00:01:27] Fuzz Martin: It’s great.

[00:01:28] Shanna Martin: Um, no. So we are within, depending on your school district, um, last week, last two weeks, last three weeks, I know some of my East Coast friends go till mid June. But, we’re getting there. We are holding on. And so,

[00:01:43] Fuzz Martin: Hold on for one more day.

[00:01:45] Shanna Martin: I mean, there’s gonna be all kinds of songs today. Yes, I just, I just sang

[00:01:48] Fuzz Martin: Wilson.

Thank you. Don’t you worry.


Phillips? Yeah, Wilson Phillips. Nice.

[00:01:53] Shanna Martin: So, in our lightning bug episode, it’s a quick one today. We are going to talk about Pest World for kids. Pest World!

[00:02:00] Fuzz Martin: Pest World! Buggy time! Excellent! I’m sorry.

[00:02:08] Shanna Martin: You’re not.

[00:02:08] Fuzz Martin: I’m not sorry. I’ve been waiting to sing that all day.

[00:02:10] Shanna Martin: You have, since I told you what we’re going to talk about today.

And so I was doing some instructional coaching in with a third grade classroom that was prepping to go on a marsh field trip, speaking of field trips, and the kids are all researching before they go. So they’re looking at different animals, plants, bugs, birds, Things like that before they went on their marsh field trip.

So they inspired me for a very fast, but fun episode. So this one is focused K 5 teachers, middle school teachers. You could definitely like send the kids to the side. It’d be fun for them, but they won’t have the intent. Like it will be after 10 minutes, they will be probably over it. But sometimes. You need to look up pests, and sometimes they’re acting like pests, so you could do whatever you want with that.

Um, so it is called PestWorldforKids. org, and it’s so fun! It’s

[00:03:05] Fuzz Martin: cute.

[00:03:05] Shanna Martin: It’s cute. So the whole goal is to Teach kids about insects and like informative teaching information for bugs and insects and pesty pest type creatures and give them the real information behind it. And what’s cool about it is there’s all types of activities all in one spot.

It’s very kid friendly and easy to navigate and they can like crank through it. So best world for, we’ll go to games first because really that’s where we’re all gonna go anyway. . If you click on games, they’ve got interactive pests and insect games. There’s a bug builder, there’s sorting bugs, there’s crush that bug.

And you just click on it. Crush that bug is like candy crush. So y’all know what you’re going to be doing with crushing bugs.

And so crush that bug, pick your level. And that gives you your instructions again, very user friendly start. And then it’s just like Candy Crush and you’re squishing mice and ants and beetles and mosquitoes and mosquitoes to crush 30.

So they give you double score for next move. Anyway, and I can already tell you are crushing bugs, so you can crush the bugs. There is Archibald’s Adventure, there’s Pest Rangers, there’s Pest Detectives, there’s Bug Biology Quizzes, there’s Insect Trivia Quizzes, so there’s all kinds of cool interactive learning games, along with just fun games that all deal with bugs and insects, which is pretty cool.

If you have kids researching, so if when you’re on the homepage and you clicked on pest info, they have pest guides and articles, the pest guide is kind of cool. It gives you like a layout, bugs and critters, A to Z, from ants to wasps and everything in between. So they have mice, and lice, and moths, and opossums, and pill bugs, and gophers, and flies, and fleas, and earwigs.

I feel like I sound like Dr. Seuss right now. And so like, I’ll click on mosquitoes. They have mosquito facts for kids so they can do research on them. It’s kind of good to know. What’s, you know, what’s out there in the summertime, or if you’re taking an outside walk or hike with the kids, they can go ahead and do a little research.

They have a little download pest ID card, and you can download this cool little, they have little ID cards for each of the pests, and it gives you kind of quick stats about them, what region they’re found in, the shapes, and then it gives you an overview and prevention. So some of that might be kind of helpful to have the kids could each have their own pest car to maybe find some outside.

I’m sure mosquitoes, they can just stand there. The mosquitoes will come to them. They don’t have to go very far. But it also gives like their diet and their habitat, impacts on the earth, what they do, those types of things. So they each have their own little, like, little research spot, which is cool, in the pest list from pests A to Z.

They also have pest articles, so if you want to build it into science or just have them do a little research or you can have them break it down in groups and each one reads a little article. They are all kid friendly, so how do ants communicate with each other? Kind of cool. They have a little online article, Five Ways Ants Communicate, and then the kids can actually practice that.

That would be kind of fun. So there’s just lots of different information. They also have a glossary, which would be really helpful if kids are looking up from allergen, to asthma, to Brood, colony, it gives them definitions for all of those, and there’s even some information, like it talks about a brood of cicadas, which here in the Midwest.

It’s what everyone’s talking about. Cicadas are showing up this year.

[00:06:36] Fuzz Martin: Was that brood 13 and brood 9 or something like that? Yeah.

[00:06:39] Shanna Martin: Or 17. 17. Yeah, something like that. So, there is information about the glossary, and then there’s a spot that kids can just go directly to. That’s going to have your games. They also have crafts.

Again, we’re getting to the end of the school year. We love to send a craft home. We love a craft to stay busy. They have from ladybug crowns to bug finger puppets to dangling spiders, to fly swatters, to pine cone squirrels, because everybody needs a pine cone squirrel on their desk, bug houses, spider wreaths.

The Nutty Squirrel craft game.

[00:07:16] Fuzz Martin: Well, yeah, of course. The Nutty Squirrel craft game.

[00:07:19] Shanna Martin: Cause that’s clearly what we need to be building and making. Um, so there’s all kinds of cool things also in the kids section. So this is just like easy to navigate drop down for kids. They have Pest Quest.

[00:07:32] Fuzz Martin: PestQuest.

[00:07:33] Shanna Martin: So PestQuest is a video series that gives kids information about different animal, like spiders and rats and scorpions.

Anyway, there’s all the different pests that they talk about.

[00:07:48] Fuzz Martin: So not just bugs, but like other pests.

[00:07:50] Shanna Martin: Yeah, other, other things too. And so they, it’s cool because it gives you the science behind it. They’re little kids in lab coats and they, Explain it and they show it and they’re quick. They’re about five minutes each or so, depending on which ones you pick and choose, but they’ve got pest quest.

And so it’s a really cool way to learn about the different pests around the world and insects and rodents and small wildlife and each episode, they’re like little junior scientists that go through and share it, which is neat and kind of fun. Not only do they have pest quest, but they have. Bug Battles.

[00:08:27] Fuzz Martin: Bug Battles.

[00:08:29] Shanna Martin: So, Bug Battles, Bald Faced Hornet versus the Yellow Jacket. I knew that. Yeah.

[00:08:37] Fuzz Martin: Yeah. The Lone Star Tick is the one that, uh, versus the Mosquito. I was recently in Southwestern United States and somebody had a tick on them. They were like, well, I hope it wasn’t a Lone Star Tick. And now I’m just, I don’t, they’re, those make me, I think that’s the one that makes you allergic to meat.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Interesting. So, red meat, yeah. So, I could be wrong, but

[00:09:01] Shanna Martin: I have to research it, while we talk next about will they eat it episodes.

[00:09:07] Fuzz Martin: Yeah, yes. Lone Star Tick can make you develop an allergy to red meat, including beef and pork. So,

[00:09:12] Shanna Martin: that’s gross.

[00:09:13] Fuzz Martin: Interesting.

[00:09:14] Shanna Martin: Ew, thanks for sharing. They also have in the, Will They Eat It?

category, they’ve got fast food. Will termites have the same craving for fast food as humans do? Watch as we introduce termites to it.

[00:09:26] Fuzz Martin: 100, 000 termites into the tank.

[00:09:28] Shanna Martin: Yeah. So again, all kinds of fun, interesting things. K5 for sure. You need some entertainment in the afternoon. They’re going to learn science and share all kinds of cool, gross information.

They have a section for parents, so you could welcome this to be a good thing to send home in the summer.

[00:09:45] Fuzz Martin: Yep.

[00:09:45] Shanna Martin: They have little science fair kits, they have report writing, which I think that that’s interesting that they have that in the science, the parent section. So, but it does give them like assignments, like here, create your own report.

It gives you a step by step process. For that, they’ve got a teacher section, so they have lesson plans, they have elementary activities, they do have some middle school activities for, Some of those kids, that they’re going to use this as research. They can go ahead and do that. So there are things for middle school teachers or middle school teachers as well, and they have pest quizzes.

So you want to do fun, like, good luck, bug biology. What can you do? Hooray. Hooray. I want some bug biology. So again, pest world. It’s a very easy, fun thing, you can build it in at the end of the school year here when you’re outside more often, you can use it during science throughout the year if you choose to, it’d be a great thing and a choice board for kids to dig into, you’re going on an outside field trip, they can, you know, have them all researching mosquitoes, by the end of it, you’re going to have so many experts in mosquitoes, it’s going to be fabulous.


[00:10:47] Fuzz Martin: very good, and then I’ll make sure the kids don’t. Bug you. By the way, you kind of glossed over it earlier, and I just want people to know, when you were talking about a marsh field trip, for those who don’t know what a marsh field trip is because they don’t live in, yes, eastern Wisconsin, the Horicon Marsh is the United States largest freshwater cattail marsh.

Spanning 32, 000 acres, and uh, and

[00:11:19] Shanna Martin: it’s 20 minutes from our school, and it’s 20 minutes from your school, so every kid, yes, in our district, at some point, goes on a marsh

[00:11:26] Fuzz Martin: field trip, home to some very, cool wildlife, yes, and it’s a cool place for children, great place for bird watchers, and uh, for those who want to go see bugs, yes.

[00:11:35] Shanna Martin: Yes, you can also bike ride through the area. Yes, you can. And all kinds of cool things. Yeah,

[00:11:39] Fuzz Martin: so anyway, I just wanted to set that up in case you were like, hey, what was that? Marsh. A marsh. A marsh. You weren’t going to Marshfield.

[00:11:50] Shanna Martin: So there you go! Pest World for kids. Pest World. So much fun and a great thing to put in there at the end of the school year.

Your kids will have fun and I’m sure they’ll share lots of really fun information. So there you go. Thanks for tuning in. This has been the tech tools for teachers podcast. If you ever have any questions, you can find me. On the app formerly known as Twitter, X, smartinwi, or on Threads, Threads, or on Instagram, Instagram, or on Facebook, Facebook, pick a social media platform, social media, if you want to get more information on the links to the technology discussed in this episode, you can visit smartinwi.

com. If you’d like to support the show, please consider buying me a coffee or two.

Visit buymeacoffee. com slash smartinwi or visit smartinwi. com and click on that cute little purple coffee cup. Your donations help keep this show going. New episodes each week. Thanks for listening. Go educate and innovate.

[00:12:48] Fuzz Martin: The ideas and opinions expressed in this podcast and the smartinwi website are those in the author, Shanna Martin, and not of her employer.

Prior to using any of the technologies discussed on this podcast, please consult with your employer regulations. This podcast offers no guarantee that these tools will work for you. To subscribe, but we sure hope they do. And we’ll talk to you next time right here on the Tech Pools for Teachers podcast.

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