Create a List

List Name

Rename this List
Save to
Back to the Top Teaching Blog
April 16, 2013

From Caterpillars to Butterflies

By Tiffani Mugurussa
Grades PreK–K, 1–2

    Our classroom has turned into a world of butterflies as they flutter about from the clothesline that hangs overhead. We’ve been learning about life cycles, beginning with plants, and are now focusing on these interesting insects. Of course you can’t study butterflies without the “real deal” so I ordered caterpillars as a surprise for the class. Ever since our tiny creatures arrived, we have been patiently watching them eat and grow. The kids were hoping that they would begin to hang in the form of the letter J this week, as that is our letter of the week.

    Each morning as my students arrive, I place the caterpillar container under the lens of the document camera. This enables me to show my students the little critters in larger than life form. They enjoy watching the fuzzy little caterpillars wiggle about their plastic enclosure. Sometime within the next week they should change into their chrysalises.

    The Very Hungry Caterpillar

    The Very Hungry Caterpillar is my favorite Eric Carle book. It incorporates the days of the week, counting, and many of my favorite foods. I’ve used this book through the past week in various ways. It is the story of the week at our listening center so we’ve read the big book several times, and we’ve also used giant retelling cards and a puppet to reenact the story.

     

    Butterfly Handprints

    I am blessed to have a fantastic parent helper who really loves undertaking art with my kids. This is a messy project, but the end results are so cute. “It’s cold!” seemed to be the consensus of my students as the paint was spread on their tiny hands.

     

    Life Cycle Mobile

    Using a few pages from Scholastic Printables, I made mobiles with my class. This was the first time many of my kids had ever used watercolors. I was greatly impressed with their creativity. Once all of the pieces had been painted and dried, the students cut them out and taped them to the yarn. Before they could tape, they had to tell me the sequence of the life cycle.

     
     
     

     

     

     

     

     

    Writing

    My students have really begun to take off with their writing so I wanted them to be able to show me what they knew about caterpillars and butterflies on paper. I asked them to tell me something they actually knew about butterflies. This was to eliminate simple sentences such as “I like butterflies” and "I see butterflies.” We brainstormed some words they might use such as "egg," "caterpillar," "chrysalis," and "butterfly." Here are examples of two writers who did a wonderful job:

    Books

    There are so many books about caterpillars and butterflies. Below I have listed a few of the class favorites we read this week.

    The life cycle of the butterfly is possibly my favorite unit to teach all year. It integrates reading, science, and art into a learning experience that my students will remember for a lifetime. From time to time I have former students return to visit, and when that occurs while we are learning about butterflies, they always comment about when they studied that unit with me. It is a delight to hear them recall what they learned about butterflies from that time.

    What life cycles, if any, do you study with your students?

    Our classroom has turned into a world of butterflies as they flutter about from the clothesline that hangs overhead. We’ve been learning about life cycles, beginning with plants, and are now focusing on these interesting insects. Of course you can’t study butterflies without the “real deal” so I ordered caterpillars as a surprise for the class. Ever since our tiny creatures arrived, we have been patiently watching them eat and grow. The kids were hoping that they would begin to hang in the form of the letter J this week, as that is our letter of the week.

    Each morning as my students arrive, I place the caterpillar container under the lens of the document camera. This enables me to show my students the little critters in larger than life form. They enjoy watching the fuzzy little caterpillars wiggle about their plastic enclosure. Sometime within the next week they should change into their chrysalises.

    The Very Hungry Caterpillar

    The Very Hungry Caterpillar is my favorite Eric Carle book. It incorporates the days of the week, counting, and many of my favorite foods. I’ve used this book through the past week in various ways. It is the story of the week at our listening center so we’ve read the big book several times, and we’ve also used giant retelling cards and a puppet to reenact the story.

     

    Butterfly Handprints

    I am blessed to have a fantastic parent helper who really loves undertaking art with my kids. This is a messy project, but the end results are so cute. “It’s cold!” seemed to be the consensus of my students as the paint was spread on their tiny hands.

     

    Life Cycle Mobile

    Using a few pages from Scholastic Printables, I made mobiles with my class. This was the first time many of my kids had ever used watercolors. I was greatly impressed with their creativity. Once all of the pieces had been painted and dried, the students cut them out and taped them to the yarn. Before they could tape, they had to tell me the sequence of the life cycle.

     
     
     

     

     

     

     

     

    Writing

    My students have really begun to take off with their writing so I wanted them to be able to show me what they knew about caterpillars and butterflies on paper. I asked them to tell me something they actually knew about butterflies. This was to eliminate simple sentences such as “I like butterflies” and "I see butterflies.” We brainstormed some words they might use such as "egg," "caterpillar," "chrysalis," and "butterfly." Here are examples of two writers who did a wonderful job:

    Books

    There are so many books about caterpillars and butterflies. Below I have listed a few of the class favorites we read this week.

    The life cycle of the butterfly is possibly my favorite unit to teach all year. It integrates reading, science, and art into a learning experience that my students will remember for a lifetime. From time to time I have former students return to visit, and when that occurs while we are learning about butterflies, they always comment about when they studied that unit with me. It is a delight to hear them recall what they learned about butterflies from that time.

    What life cycles, if any, do you study with your students?

Comments

Share your ideas about this article

Tiffani's Most Recent Posts
Blog Post
5 Tips and Hacks for Teachers

Here are five amazing teacher tips and hacks that will help to save you time and money and make your life as a teacher a little bit easier.

By Tiffani Mugurussa
October 21, 2016
Blog Post
5 Classroom Organization Tips for the School Year

I work many hours in my classroom organizing, cleaning, purging, and labeling. I’m the girl who gets excited over organizational containers. Today I’m sharing five classroom organizational tips that will help you start your school year off right.

By Tiffani Mugurussa
August 26, 2016
Blog Post
Happy Birthday, Clifford!

Clifford the Big Red Dog is turning 50! Join us in celebrating the big day with Clifford and Norman Bridwell during the live webcast.

By Tiffani Mugurussa
January 22, 2015
Blog Post
Snow Much Fun: Wintertime Books
We are using two of my favorite winter-themed books by Jan Brett to focus on listening comprehension and story retelling.
By Tiffani Mugurussa
December 23, 2013
Blog Post
Parent Involvement: Meeting the Challenges

Most parents genuinely want to help, but they lack the needed time. Here are ten untraditional ways I have created for parents to volunteer in my classroom.

 

By Tiffani Mugurussa
July 26, 2013

Susan Cheyney

GRADES: 1-2
About Us