Bug Off! (pt. 1)

Once again, I brought in the University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener’s Insect Petting Zoo to teach bug facts through poetry. I had some giant African millipedes, Madagascar hissing cockroaches, and Rosie, the rose-haired tarantula. The students would each stand up and take turns petting or holding the bugs (or cowering in the back of the room). It’s a lot of fun to get to actually meet these living creatures and then write odes to them. Here are our bug odes.

Mrs. Asvos
7th Grade, 2nd Period

“Ode to Millipede”
Jailysse D.

You run with all those little legs.
Squirming with your sleek cold body.
Minding your own business while humans surround.
Thirty dirty slimy seventh grade hands
touching you but yet you
still remain calm.
Oh millipede how trusting you are.
Oh millipede “WATCH OUT”
and now she’s dead.

Moral: Don’t be naive. Be aware of your surroundings.

“Ode to Bugs”
Dylan L.

Creepy, crawly critters crawling at the
crack of dusk.
Devious, daring, darlings.
Terrific, terrifying tarantulas.
Beautiful, bountiful, balling bugs.

“Dear Cockroach”

Dear Cockroach, why’d you cling to everything?
Why didn’t you hiss? Did you know we
weren’t going to harm you? Did you just not
want to sing for us? You’re probably shy aren’t
you? That’s why you didn’t sing to us.

Mrs. Asvos
7th Grade, 3rd Period

“Ode to Arachnids”
Alexandra J.

Dear arachnid,
I’ve written to file a complaint,
you have too many legs.
And too many eyes.
And your delicate hairs are an unwelcome surprise.
And, when on a hand, you stand perfectly still
Yet, you find it necessary to sprint at free will.
All in all, stay in the box.

“Bugs and Such”
Suzanne M.

I will never love you
I cringe when I see you.
You’re disgusting.
You give me nightmares.
You’re the reason I’d rather be cremated than buried.
I don’t care how small you are.
You will forever scare me.
You’re just “ew.”
I hate you.

Patricia M.

I used to think you were scary
I would scream in fear
Until the day you came
Then I could see

You were so calm
While we were all screaming
To me it was like I was dreaming

Oh, dear spider
I’m sorry I saw you as a threat
Now I see that you are good
And now I feel bad
But now I wish you the best
Oh dear spider.



“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.