I Wish I Were a Butterfly Lesson Plan
My grade level partners and I use I Wish I Were a Butterfly during the first week of school. We use it to teach students acceptance and to appreciate each other’s uniqueness.
Students will develop a better understanding of the differences among peers in the classroom, identify ways each student is unique, and design/decorate a classroom banner that exhibits the uniqueness of each individual student.
- I Wish I Were a Butterfly by James Howe
- One large banner (I usually make this using bulletin board paper.)
- Sentence strips for each student
- Copies of the circle pattern reproducible
SET UP AND PREPARE
Before reading the book, I tell my students that I am going to read them a story about a little cricket. I ask them to pay attention to how the cricket feels in the story.
After reading the book, we have a discussion about how the cricket feels. Usually the students can relate to the cricket feeling different and wanting to be something he is not. I then ask the students if they have ever felt like the cricket. Some students might be shy to share their stories, so I usually tell them about a time when I was young and felt like I wanted to be someone else. This usually sparks conversation.
Next, I discuss with the students the word “uniqueness” and ask the students to tell me how each animal in the story was unique.
cricket- plays music
spider- spins webs
glow worm- changes into a lightning bug
ladybug- flies and is the color of laughter
dragonfly- covered in jewels
After that, I ask each student to think of ways that they are unique. What can they do that other students may not be able to do? (Some students will feel like the cricket and say their is nothing unique about them. Talk to that student about things they like to do, usually you can find a way they are unique.)
Students are then given a sentence strip to write down the way they are unique. I then have them draw a picture of their face to hang up next to their uniqueness.
While the students are working on their sentence strips and pictures I write, "Mrs. Higgins's class is Unique" in the middle of the banner. After sharing their uniqueness with each other, I have the students glue their picture and sentence strips on the banner. I hang the banner up on the wall for the rest of the year as a reminder that we are all unique in our own special way.
SUPPORTING ALL LEARNERS
After teaching this lesson several times, I find that there will always be students in your class that will think they are like the cricket and feel they are not unique. It is important that these children are treated delicately. I have found just by talking to them about the things they like to do will usually spark an idea.
Students can also create an acrostic poem of their names and describe themselves in the poem. This is a great way for students to get to know one another in the beginning of the year.