Bug Fashion

poem by Diana Murray , illustrated by David Legge

Learning intention:

I am learning to incorporate facts with imagination in my writing so that I can remember to seek inspiration from the world around me.


Success criteria:

  • I can locate facts in a text.
  • I can identify ways the author has used facts to inspire humorous ideas
  • I can use my own choice of insect fact to create an imaginative stanza.


Read the poem out loud or if you have a digital subscription you may wish to listen to the audio recording. Ask students what parts of the poem they think are funny or silly. Answers may include:

  • Crickets getting ready to go to a dance
  • Crickets wearing shorts or skirts
  • Butterflies going out to dinner without their shoes
  • Dung beetles preferring dungarees and avoiding frills
  • Bees being dressed in jumpers
  • Ants wearing ties
  • Bugs having trouble finding clothes in their size.


Discuss which parts of the poem may tell readers real facts about the bugs mentioned. These should include:

  • Crickets’ ears are on their knees
  • Butterflies’ taste buds are on their feet
  • Dung beetles push manure with their back legs while upside down.


Discuss the way the author uses her imagination to connect these facts with a funny idea about what that would mean for the way the bugs would wear their clothes.

Inform students that they are going to locate an interesting fact about an insect of their choice and find a way to turn it into a silly idea. Explain that it does not need to be related to clothes, it may be any idea that they can link to their chosen fact.

If possible, borrow some non-fiction books about insects (Dewey Decimal number 595.7) for them to look through. Otherwise, websites such as Smithsonian’s Fun Facts About Bugs and National Geographic Kids’ 25 Cool Things About Bugs have helpful information for this activity. Explain that they should do some brainstorming once they have chosen their facts.

Once students have located their chosen fact and done their brainstorming, they should compose a stanza with the same rhyme scheme as Bug Fashion (AABB). To help them plan, model an example on the board, such as:


Fact: A single honeybee colony can produce around 100kg of honey each year – that’s 220 jars! (National Geographic Kids)


Brainstorm ideas: Honey sandwiches, honey biscuits, snacks, lunch, jars of honey, markets, school fetes



Want to know how bee colonies make their money?

Over two hundred jars every year of honey

They sell them to beetles and flies at school fetes

Who make honey biscuits to feed to their mates.


Students may wish to share their stanza with the class.