- Science, History, Geography
- Curriculum Strands:
- Story (History), Local Studies (History), Continuity and change over time (History), Human environments (Geography), Natural environments (Geography), Environmental awareness and care (Geography/Science), Living things (Science)
- Counties catered for:
- Clare, Kerry
- Classes catered for:
- All Classes
Nessa Darcy is a Creative Entomologist whose mission is to reintroduce humans to their natural habitat through colourful encounters with insects. Her school visits promote awareness of these essential and under-appreciated heroes of our natural heritage. In addition to her ecology work around Ireland and in Madagascar, Nessa is an artist and member of an intercultural choir, bringing creativity, fun, and inclusivity to her teaching methods.
Nessa’s visits can be tailored to the specific needs of each class. Outdoor activities range from simple bug safaris to thorough site surveys using scientific field sampling techniques. Stormy weather activities include microscope sessions, bug identification challenges, photographic presentations, and learning about insect anatomy and folklore through drawing, drama, songs and games.
Nessa wants to empower pupils to contribute to national nature recording schemes and to carry out real conservation actions at school and at home. She recognises the benefits of engaging with nature in your local area. Any green space, big or small, can make a great study site for recording, identifying and conserving nature and observing it with all the senses. A five-visit series can give pupils the opportunity to carry out a thorough insect survey and write up a management plan for their chosen patch.
School visits (virtual)
Topic : A Moth's Eye View of Hedgerow Habitats
An introduction to moth recording, hedgerow surveys and the dazzling diversity of plant and moth interactions.
Classes: 3rd to 6th
Session 1 (pre-recorded, 20 mins):
This video will show the children and teacher how to assess the habitat and heritage quality of a local hedgerow and carry out some simple moth trapping techniques. It provides a close-up look at these diverse and beautiful mini-beasts, many of whom live in hedgerows. After watching the video and reading the guidelines, you and your class will be ready to venture out and explore a hedgerow or trap and record some moths.
Session 2 (live, up to 1 hour):
After carrying out one or more of these practical outdoor activities with their teacher or as homework, the class can present what they have found and ask questions in a live virtual visit. They will learn more about the lives of moths and explore their anatomy, wing patterns and names through drawing and creative writing. The format of this online workshop can vary and will be arranged in consultation with the teacher.
Worksheets & teacher's notes:
Notes for teachers will be provided with detailed guidelines on the surveying techniques, and links to resources for species identification and how to contribute records to citizen science schemes. A worksheet on insects and their food sources is also available.
- Hedgerow survey option: Clipboard, printed data sheet, pencil, secateurs/strong scissors, gardening gloves (optional), camera/phone with decent focus for taking photos of small things, bug jars (optional), strong plastic/canvas bag for carrying samples, measuring tape (optional).
- Moth recording option: A moth trap (good investment for the school), or a white sheet with bright torches/lamps, pegs and washing line, or sugar syrup (recipe included in resources) and a paintbrush, or access to a bathroom with a bright light and a householder with no fear of moths! Camera/phone with decent focus for taking photos of small things. Bug jars (optional).
- Classroom materials: Paper, pencils, crayons or colouring pencils. Depending on how in-depth you wish to go with your species recording, you might like to order some ID charts and books. I will provide recommendations for these, and links to free online resources. A visualiser will help me to see samples brought into the classroom more clearly in order to identify them, but is not essential.
"I am booking Nessa again for my class again next year!"
"The children thoroughly enjoyed their time with Nessa and learnt loads about insects. Nessa had very creative art ideas on the theme of insects."
"Very interactive, well organized presentation." - St Catherine ‘s NS, Dublin
"The students really loved the field work and were engaged throughout." - Hansfield ETNS
"This was a lovely workshop for the pupils, thoroughly enjoyed and very beneficial. Nessa shared her love for the environment and her wonderful knowledge as an entomologist with our pupils, giving both an indoor and an outdoor presentation. She spoke about insect biodiversity, pollinators etc. Nessa listened with great interest to our pupils' contributions to the discussion period." - Anon.
- Caters for Special Needs
- Provides practical/ hands-on activities
- Provides field trips