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  • Lesson plan
  • Grades 6-8

For the Love of Nature: Studying & Becoming Entomologists


The Love Bugs is a love story about soulmates and science. Two renowned, married, entomologists facing their twilight years seek to pass on their knowledge–with a little help from their 1.25 million insects. Over 60 years, Lois and Charlie O'Brien, two of the foremost entomologists and pioneers in their field, traveled to more than 65 countries and quietly amassed the world's most extensive private collection of insects. Their collection is a scientific game-changer with 1.25 million specimens and more than 1,000 undiscovered species. He was the Indiana Jones of entomology, and she was his Marion Ravenwood. However, in the past few years, the O'Briens have grappled with increasingly debilitating health conditions.

Though Charlie, 85, and Lois, 91, realize that a chapter of exploration and discovery is coming to an end in their lives, they live in a time when science needs them most. They turn to their insects to preserve their legacy and in support of science. This humorous and poignant documentary short explores the Nature of Love – and the love of Nature -and what it means to devote oneself entirely to both.

In this lesson, students will examine the careers of diverse scientists, and specifically learn about the nature of the work of entomologists. Following the film’s screening, students will imagine that they, themselves, are entomologists and study “insects” and their natural environments.

In this lesson, students will:

  • Learn that the field of science is broad and that scientists come from diverse backgrounds and identities
  • Be introduced to science of entomology
  • Learn about the work of entomologists
  • Engage in an activity modeling the work of entomologists
  • Reflect and discuss the importance of nature, insects, and relationships to the land

For this lesson, you will need:

  • Objects to use as pretend “insects”
    • Suggestions: Dried pinto beans, black beans, and/or different types of pasta (rotini, spaghetti, elbow macaroni)
  • Student Notebooks
  • Drawing Materials
  • Separate pieces of drawing paper for each student
  • Non-breakable collection container such as a plastic (tip: you can recycle take-out containers, cottage cheese containers, etc)
  • English Bug Kite Instructions
  • High-speed internet connection for screening the film
  • A way to screen The Love Bugs (screening time: 32 minutes)

Time Needed:

Two or Three 60-minute class period with homework and an option for students to share their writing.