Jack's Insects
Jack’s Insects



Select options

Jack’s Insects


Learn fascinating facts about insects as you follow Jack and Maggie’s adventures inside Jack’s new insect book! A classic living science book used in Charlotte Mason’s schools for grades 4-6. (Grades 4–6) See full description

Download a Free Sample

Add to Wishlist
Add to Wishlist

SKU: VAR-jacksinsects Categories: ,

Product Description

A classic living science book used by Charlotte Mason!

Follow Jack and Maggie into the fascinating world of insects! When Jack receives a book for his birthday, he and his sister suddenly find themselves inside it, living the natural history. Learn from their adventures as they question a butterfly, narrate to a spider, go underground with a cicada, anger a wasp, attend a katydid concert, hear a candle fly’s court case, go airborne with some fireflies, sail with a raft-spider, and more.

This unique book, used in Charlotte Mason’s PNEU schools, has been out of print and almost impossible to find. We are pleased to bring this valuable resource back into circulation for another generation to enjoy.


  • Charlotte Mason Recommended—Originally published in 1910, Jack’s Insects is a classic living science book that Charlotte Mason used in her schools. Records indicate that she recommended it for children in Form II (grades 4–6).
  • Living Science—In true Charlotte Mason style, fascinating facts about insects are couched in a living story. You’ll learn about butterflies, caterpillars, plague locusts, carding bees, cicadas, katydids, and more, and from the (often opinionated) insects themselves. (Oh, yes, these insects are quite the characters!)
  • Original Illustrations—J. A. Shepherd created more than forty-four pen and ink drawings to illustrate the story of Jack’s Insects. We have tried to preserve the integrity of these original illustrations, presenting them as they appeared in the early 1900’s edition, including their hand-drawn border lines.

The corresponding Narration and Nature Study Notebook will add many more learning opportunities for your student!

Looking for the sequel? Our research has indicated that the sequel, Jack’s Other Insects is simply the last ten chapters of Jack’s Insects published as a separate book. So as far as we know, this reprint of Jack’s Insects contains all the chapters from both books.

Additional Information

Weight.85 lbs
Dimensions8.5 × 5.5 × 0.81 in




E-book, Trade Paper


Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6

Lesson Plan

Jack's Insects Narration and Nature Study Notebook


Check out these ideas, links, and tips that correspond to the insects introduced in Jack’s Insects. Use them to enhance your study.

6 reviews for Jack’s Insects

  1. Sonya

    A number of people have asked whether the 4th to 6th grade recommendation refers to reading level and if it would be a good book to read aloud to younger children.

    As with most good living books, the younger children can pick up a lot from listening to it read aloud. However, in this case, the recommended grade level might also be referring to emotional stability as well as being old enough to enjoy some of the plays on words that the author throws in. Examples . . .

    Have you gotten to the part in the free sample chapter (chapter 9) where the walking stick comes in “parenthetically”? I love that part, but the younger kids probably won’t even catch it. I’m sure they would benefit from the parts they do catch, but they would probably catch more and enjoy it even more when they’re older.

    There’s also a part where the Great Golden Digger Wasp feeds the Cicada to her larvae, and the Cicada is still alive. It’s not presented in a gross way or anything, but some sensitive little first grade child might have nightmares over that one, you know?

    So I’m thinking maybe those two reasons are why Charlotte waited until 4th grade, but I don’t know for sure.

    As far as children older than 6th grade, I know how much I learned and enjoyed the story as I typed it, so I don’t think there’s any problem with letting older students read it.

  2. shellyanglin

    My kids and I will be finishing 106 days and I’m searching for what to do after. I already have outdoor secretes and the companion, we use that for nature study. I just need to figure out where to go from 106 days. We use ALL your stuff, we have talked before, probably about this and many, many other things. I have been praying that you are writing another science book……that might be done in september/october. 😀 Anyway, just wondering how to use this and the other living science books as a science curriculum. My kids are 1st, 4th, 7th. Yes, I’m doing 106 day with all of them together. We are 100% CMers. I just need some direction with the science part of it.

    Thank you and sorry I rambled on and on!

    • Doug Smith

      You might enjoy reading Jack’s Insects together and then looking up some of the insects you encounter in the story. You could also check the CM Bookfinder for other living science books to enjoy.

  3. Stacy Montgomery

    Do you plan on coming out with a companion guide for Jacks Insects like you have for Outdoor Secrets? We are currently using that with my K4 & 2nd grade daughters…more for my older one but, we all love it so much!!!

    • Sonya Shafer

      Yes, Stacy, we are working on a companion guide for Jack’s Insects, but it will be geared more for the 4th to 6th grade students. Glad you’re enjoying the book! Edit: The companion book is now available.

  4. jen

    Do you know about when you may be finished with the companion guide for Jacks Insects? I am looking very forward to it. We have read Outdoor secrets and the Companion guide this year. It is wonderful 🙂 We have really enjoyed it!!

    Thank you so very much

    • Sonya Shafer

      Jen, the companion guide for Jack’s is now written and going to the page layout stage. I’m hoping it will be ready later this summer. Edit: The companion book is now available.

      • jen

        AWESOME!!! I am looking so forward to it!! TY!!!!!! 🙂

  5. carolyn


    I really love the look of this book and the guide to go along with it. I have a question which has already sort of been answered already but I wanted to know what you thought on a more personal level in regards to my daughter using this. She will be entering 2nd grade next year and has a love of insects and anything bug wise. She mentioned the other day on how she wish she could go and find and discover things. I thought she was talking fossils and rocks, but she said no insects for her collection, especially strange ones. Her reading and comprehension is at 5th grade level. I was planning on doing Apologia flying creatures then came across this. Should I do this now or wait a couple of years? I hope you don’t mind my long winded ramble and seeking your advice. I do appreciate your website very much.

    Thank you,

    • Sonya Shafer

      I think your idea of waiting a couple of years is best. She could probably comprehend most of Jack’s Insects, but she would most likely enjoy it more and glean more from it when she is older.

  6. Tara

    Is this book meant to be covered over the years 4-6 as opposed to being covered in its’ entirety in one full year?

    • Sonya Shafer

      Feel free to use it as you see fit, Tara. You could read through it in one year. If you combine it with the corresponding Narration and Nature Study Notebook, you will probably want to cover it in one year.

      You could also spread it out over several years by making it only one of several science books you are slowly working through together. For example, you could read from this book about insects on Mondays, a book about birds on Thursdays, and a book about astronomy on Fridays.

Add a review

If you have a question, contact us and we will be happy to help.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like…