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The Bug Girl

The Bug Girl tells the journey of a young girl exploring her passion for insects. The girl falls victim to bullying when her peers tease her for liking bugs and as a result she decides not to like bugs anymore. Soon, with help from her mom, and an entomologist, the girl realizes that bugs are in fact cool and that being different is OK.

Why use this book:

  • Students may be able to relate to the bullying the girl faces, as well as wanting to fit in with peers.
  • Realizing that it is OK to be different from others and what can happen when you follow your passions are key takeaways from this book

Ask your students:

  • What do you think was meant by, “The Bug Rule”?
  • Why did Sophia collect bugs?
  • Why did the other kids start to make fun of Sophia? How did she react to being made fun of? Have you ever been teased about something that you were passionate about?
  • How would you safely and respectfully study a bug? Do you think Sophia investigated bugs safely and respectfully? While observing wild animals (including insects), it is critical to not disturb the animal. Remind students to be respectful by giving the animal space, being quiet and observing from a distance. Never touch or feed wildlife as this can result in injury to the animal and person.


  • Dealing with Bullying – As a class, watch the Interview with Sophia Spencer Video (4:36). Sophia experiences bullying when she reaches Grade 1 because of her passion for bugs. Start a discussion about bullying by brainstorming what the students already know about bullying. Then, discuss the following questions:
    • A group of kids knocked the grasshopper off of Sophia’s shoulder and stomped on it. Could that be thought of as an act of
      bullying? Why or why not?
    • Why do you think the kids would do that to Sophia? There were many bystanders (people watching but not participating), why do you think these kids didn’t say anything? What could they have done?
    • If other kids pressured and teased Sophia into not liking bugs anymore, could that be viewed as an act of bullying? Why or why not? Why do you think the kids teased Sophia? What could they have done instead?
  • Discuss with the students other examples of unkind and bullying peer behaviours. As a class, come up with steps on how to handle these situations. Create a classroom poster using these steps for students to reference in the future.
  • Next, have students write a journal entry about a bullying experience and encourage students to use the steps discussed as a class to write about how they would appropriately react. Students may choose to use one of the sentence starters provided below to help get them started.
    • I didn’t like it when…
    • I knew I shouldn’t have…
    • Next time…
    • I should have said something when…

The Bug Girl is part of the AnimalTales program. Above, is a small selection of the discussion questions and activities that can be found in the Grade Two Teacher’s Guide. For additional discussion questions and activities request the FREE book-lending program for your class.

Additional Resources Related to Book:

  • Seek App— This iNaturalist app uses image recognition software to help you identify different plants and animal species, including insects.
  • Insects of Alberta— Learn more about the most common types of insects in Alberta.
  • Bugs 101— Do you want to learn more about bugs? This free course provides online learners with an introduction to the biology, diversity, and ecology of insects and their roles in human society.

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