We have been studying insects the entire month of March. The first week was insects in general. Our second week study was on ladybugs. You can check it out here: Ladybugs!! Keepin' It Real... The third week was dedicated to learning all about butterflies and we have lots to share. We used a variety of resources, but our main source of ideas and inspiration was the GEMS: Hide a Butterfly guide. You can click below to learn more about it.
|GEMS: Hide a Butterfly|
We set up our science area for insects, but our main emphasis, as you can see below, was on butterflies. We used a life cycle poster, butterflies variety poster, field guide, books, shadowboxes with real preserved butterflies, and more.
We try to begin a study by asking the kiddos what they think they already know about the topic. We don't correct anything that is incorrect at this point. Generally, throughout the study, the kiddos will decide to change previous statements as they learn new things.
|I found this cool butterfly matching cards|
on www.prekinders.com. I printed the cards
out, matted them, then laminated them. I
placed the field guide out to extend the
activity, if they chose to do so.
We provide multiple pairs of butterfly wings for the children to wear and one friend brought her own pair and then proceeded to share them with the other kiddos.
We had a dot-to-dot that resulted in a butterfly if the children followed the numbers in order. I created a number line from 1 to 14, just like the dot-to-dot, to assist with the process.
We talked about how the butterflies unfurl their proboscis to drink the nectar out of the flowers. I found some party blowers at a store and brought them in so each child could role-play the action. The kiddos LOVED this!
The GEMS: Hide a Butterfly incorporates several activities that the children create items to make a mural that comes together at the end of the study.
|It began with creating a flower. Each child|
cut their leaf out and then snipped to make
|They then created a butterfly in the same color|
as the flower they had done. We discussed
symmetry and how the designs on each wing
needed to match.
|This was a really cute activity called "What Comes|
Next?" Each child was given the four images. They
were encouraged to place them in order and then
were given the opportunity to glue them down on
then with the card stock cutouts and puppets...
then the flannel board re-telling...
then the kiddos got to re-tell the story themselves.
One friend even drew her own rendition
of the story and made it into a book
format then volunteered to tell the
story to me. Click on the link below
to hear her tell the story.
*Note: I love Eric Carle,
but we all know that the caterpillar in
his story turned into a butterfly. I'm
not sure why he called the pupa stage
a cocoon, so we discussed it and decided
we would call it a chrysalis instead.
|My Little Friend's Butterfly Story|
We sorted out the parts of the life cycle:
egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, butterfly and
then had a place for a leaf and a flower.
We had been given some foam butterfly shapes.
We put out a variety of foam colors and encouraged
them to cut out shapes and other pieces to add to
their butterfly. Note the cool antennae one friend
added to her creation.
We created butterfly life cycle bracelets. We had
a white bead for the egg, a red bead and three green
beads for the caterpillar, a shiny bead for the
chrysalis, and a butterfly bead for the butterfly.
They turned out so cool!! It was great fine motor
practice and each child could relay the life cycle
to the parents by looking at their bracelet.
When all the props were complete we were able
to use the mural to act out a drama. The kiddos
saw how the butterfly that landed on the flower
of the same color was camouflaged better from
the birds, even more so when they would close
their wings. How they were more obvious to the
birds if they landed on a flower of a different color
and how easily the bird could snatch them up.
After we completed our week long study, we
did another chart of what we had learned.
When all was said and done, I put all
of the creations from the week up on the
wall completing our mural.
We had so much fun!!