Make a model dragonfly

Dragonflies and damselflies love watery habitats. You can find them in places like lochs, ponds, rivers, canals, burns and bogs! Scotland is home to around 29 different species and summer is the time to spot them, as adult insects emerge and go on the hunt for a mate.

Golden-ringed Dragonfly © Fergus Gill, 2020VISION
Golden-ringed Dragonfly © Fergus Gill, 2020VISION

Dragonflies are different to damselflies – they are bulkier and most species have no gap between their eyes. When at rest, a dragonfly’s wings are held out from the body (whereas a damselfly’s are held closed together).

Be inspired by beautiful dragonflies, and familiarise yourself with their body shape, by making your own!


What you will need:

  • Two 30cm lengths of strong, bendable wire
  • Two long, coloured pipe cleaners
  • Two white buttons or beads, with a hole in each
  • Coloured cellophane or sweet wrappers (optional)
  • Sticky tape
  • Permanent marker pens

How to make your model dragonfly:

  1. Thread a pipe cleaner through one of the beads.
  2. Twist the ends of the pipe cleaner together to stop the bead falling off.
  3. Repeat with the second pipe cleaner, and the second bead.
  4. Finish making the dragonfly’s body, by twisting the two pipe cleaners together.
  5. Add a black dot to each of the beads – these are the eyes.
  6. To make the wings – bend the wire into a double set (a figure of eight) – leave enough wire at the ends to attach to the body.
  7. Wrap each wing with the cellophane or sweet wrappers; or, if you don’t have those, cover them in sticky tape and then colour the tape with the markers.
  8. Your dragonfly is ready to fly!
  9. You could make a few, and make a dragonfly mobile. Simply make a cross shape out of cardboard, and then attach each dragonfly using sellotape and string.
  10. Add another piece of string to the top centre of the cardboard cross, and hang at a location of choice to brighten up the room.

    Illustration by Corinne Welch © Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts 2015

Share photos of your dragonflies using #DiscoverLearnShare

Time to complete

30 mins- 1 hour

Suitable for age

Suitable location

Associated wildlife

Resource Level

Curriculum linked

Sciences (Ecology, biology, natural history, Planet Earth topic)

Expressive Arts (Art and design)

 

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