|Project Description ||This fall we had a wonderful praying mantis (Ethel Irene)... she became tame enough to take live crickets from the students hands. She lived in the plants on the window sill. (She sulked when she was in the terrarrium) The children would come into the classroom and try to find her on the plants. It was an honor to be the one to feed her. This gave the children a chance to overcome their fear of large insects. Many of the students who were afraid of insects gained an understanding of the role insects play in our environment. We added another praying mantis to the window sill. A sixth grader had brought it to class and wanted it to be displayed in the plants with Ethel. It was astonishing to see how fast "things" happened. A serendipitous sex- ed class for the sixth grade. He was soon reduced to a thorax and abdomen...then wings and legs. We are certain that the egg cases that Ethel Irene left behind are fertile. Currently they are in the refrigerator waiting for spring so we can observe and release the little ones. I would like to show the children the magnification of the egg case and close up views of Ethel Irene and her marvelous adaptations that made her such a good hunter. The children have written in their lab journals their observations and feelings about the death of Ethel... good lessons all around....life-death-balance .