For my idea I wanted to experiment with other bugs. So I made a bee, a lady bug, a dragonfly, and a version of the inspirational spider.
To make the bee: roll a small amount of yellow model magic (about 2"square out of the pkg) into a ball; gently flatten the ball; press in the legs, stinger and antennae; color in the black stripes and head; press in the wings; let dry overnight; glue on eyes.
yellow model magic, black Sharpie, pipe cleaners, wiggle eyes
To make the lady bug: begin the same as the bee but with red; press in legs and antennae; color in spots and head; let dry overnight; glue on eyes.
red model magic, black Sharpie, pipe cleaners, wiggle eyes
To make the dragonfly: use about the same amount of model magic, but roll into a coil that tapers at the tail; press in legs, antennae and wings; let dry overnight; glitter by coating body with Elmer's glue, dropping into a baggie with chosen glitter color(s) and shake until coated; remove from baggie and glue on wiggle eyes.
any color model magic (I mixed yellow and black and got a mossy green), pipe cleaners, wiggle eyes, Elmer's glue, glitter
To make the spider: begin the same as the bee; snip a mouth with scissors; press in legs, antennae and fangs; add a bit of glue in the mouth; sprinkle red glitter on the glue; let dry overnight; glue on wiggle eyes.
black model magic, red glitter, pipe cleaners, Elmer's glue, wiggle eyes
Remind students to handle the model magic gently when rolling and when pressing in the parts. Otherwise they'll end up with smooshed bugs.
Hot glue the eyes on. They'll stay attached better that way. And while you are at it, you may have to secure some of the pipe cleaner parts with hot glue as well.
Add to the menagerie with other creepy crawlies like segmented caterpillars, snails, ants, green-eyed flies, etc.
Extend the lesson even more with painting, drawing or collage to create flowers, plants, or habitats for the bugs to live on/in. Display with insect facts, a butterfly net, mosquito netting, etc.
Interdisciplinary potential: Link to a science unit in the regular classroom. Adapt to suit the grade that is studying insects (I think it might be grade 2 in Massachusetts). Have students learn the parts of their insects' anatomy.