The magic of butterflies and caterpillars captivates children. A flitter of colorful wings...
A fuzzy, fat, stripey bug creep crawling up a branch...
Discovering nature's treasures like these instantly engage and enchant children (and me too!).
What better insect to choose for a close-up look at life cycles? Last week we studied plant life cycles at the school so the children were already familiar with the idea. I brought in an example butterfly life cycle that I had made with art scrapes from my stash: pompoms (perfect for caterpillar bodies), silk flowers and leaves (leaves to lay eggs on and flowers to pull apart and use for wings), pasta shells (cocoon) and multicolored popcorn (eggs).
As we sat in a circle, I shared the butterfly life cycle with the kids we talked about being scientists by looking at the world and observing what we see. We read The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. As we read, we looked for parts of the butterfly life cycle. We found the egg, and the cocoon and the butterfly; the kids really got it and I was impressed!
Next the kids made their own butterfly life cycles.
I gave them each a leaf to glue down on a piece of paper and then encouraged them to lay "eggs" on their leaves.
On we went including parts of the cycle. I always love to present children with an idea and then let them take it from there and we had many creative life cycles when all was said and done!