March 12, 2012

Life Cycles Part 1: Bb Butterfly (MFW Highlights)

Bb is for sooo many things--but we are focusing on our introduction to Life Cycles with Butterflies.

Day #1
We started off by making a chart about what we already knew about butterflies...then we read a book and pamphlet about them...

and added a list about what we learned.

Next we learned a bit more about the Monarch butterfly--the beautiful and common orange/black one we see all the time around our house during the spring--and it's the one on our ABC flashcards. I shared with him two Youtube videos about the Monarch Butterflies Migration to the mountains in Mexico. He noticed that all the butterflies together made a lot of noise and he speculated the the camera person was probably covered with them since they were standing so close. We pointed out how interesting it is that something that God made as fragile as a butterfly can fly so far! We also talked about how a caterpillar can't just think "pretty thoughts" and become a butterfly--it takes a miracle of God to make it happen! So too, our conversion into the knowledge and way of God changes us from a caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly.

Our scripture for the week matches quite well...

Because we discussed and viewed how symmetrical butterflies were, we attempted to make our own butterflies symmetrical by painting only one side and folding it over. This didn't work too well as our paint dried too fast. So he just painted the other side to match.
He painted the green and black butterfly in the book.

We read two wonderful poems written by Christina Rosetti (The Caterpillar) and William Wordsworth (the Butterfly). Little Britches really enjoyed them especially the Caterpillar one.

Then we cut out two little things to add to our Butterfly lapbook this week answering the questions about what a butterfly eats and what a caterpillar eats.

Day #2
We did a work sheet tracing and writing the word "Caterpillar" and completed a maze. Then we made an illustrated book out of the Christina Rosetti poem I read to him yesterday. This was something I came up with because I really loved that he responded so well to the poetry. So I made a document breaking the poem down into 4 parts and had him illustrated each part. Then we cut it apart and stapled it in order to make a little book. He LOVED it and did a wonderful job! I will post a link to my PDF if anyone is interested in using this idea.
Here is what it looks like before it's cut out...

Day #3
We received our caterpillars in the mail this day--Little Britches was beside himself! So I explained what the directions said and we took them into our classroom. Then I had him start his study on them. Here are his pages in his journal from our butterfly study:
(click to see better)
(click to see better)

when he was writing "caterpillar" he remembered how to spell it's parts from our paper yesterday "I remember it has *cat* and *pill* in it with some *er* sounds". Pretty smart! :0)

We started by reviewing what a Lifecycle is (I introduced the idea of compound words)--and drew a cycle chart on the board. Then we added in each stage for the butterfly.

Next I had him put in order some sequencing cards for the butterfly life cycle--then he colored, cut and pasted a cycle for his lapbook. Then we did a fun craft that I found on Pinterest--make a life cycle with pasta representing each stage. It was a genius idea, and I just happened to have each time of pasta! I separated our paper plate into quarters and added flow arrows. Then he drew pictures for each stage and we glued on the appropriate pasta. I hole punched the top of the plate for us to hang up once it dried.

And then we did another color page with color words--a butterfly of course! :0)

He told while coloring that he was enjoying learning about butterflies...

Day #4 and Day #5
More review over life cycles and documentation in his science journal on what his caterpillars were doing. And we did a couple activities to finish our lapbook pages for this week.

Our caterpillars grew huge and a couple made their chrysalis this week...but the last caterpillar didn't make his chrysalis until March 2nd. But all the butterflies started "hatching" (as Little Britches called it) the week of March 5th which was very cool! They all finally were butterflies by the 8th--and since it warmed up into the upper 60's this weekend, we let them all go on the 10th. It was very cool to watch them find their wings and catch a breeze!

Little Britches corrects EVERYONE who says anything about a butterfly and a cocoon--"MOTHS come out of a cocoon but butterflies have a CHRYSALIS!" And if they disagree, he tells them "Go look it up!" LOL! Mr. Smartypants...

It was a very good week and he enjoyed learning more about butterflies--and having the real caterpillars become butterflies just made it come..well, alive!

* Color by Color Word Butterfly Sheet (from

* Butterfly Lapbook (
*Monarch Butterflies Journey (Video)

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