The start of school usually finds an abundance of monarch butterflies in our area. If we are fortunate enough we can generally find a chrysalis to watch in our classroom.
The unit vocabulary is presented and reviewed each day of the unit. I will have the students write the words in their ABC dictionary of new words; play bingo; unscramble the words; write the words (with water & paint brush) on the chalkboard; illustrate the words; write sentences with the; or a variety of other activities.
Each day a butterfly book is read to the class. Often times we write fact sentence strips from our stories to display in our work area. The facts are reviewed often during the unit.
Unit vocabulary - butterfly, flutter, chrysalis, egg, fly, caterpillar, larva, adult
Read the The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Art activity - create caterpillars using paper egg carton sections. Decorate with markers, glitter, paper scraps, add eyes and pipe cleaners for antennae.
Use the caterpillars to decorate a tree branch or paper tree shape. Later in the unit the caterpillars will turn into beautiful butterflies!
Poem - I print the poems on 8 1/2" x 11" sheets of paper. The students can put the poems in their poetry booklets. I also enlarge the poems on a chart to display during the entire unit.
First comes a butterfly
Discussion - Students will complete the life cycle of the butterfly sheet. See the Enchanted Learning website - http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/butterfly/label/lifecycle/label.shtml
This site has wonderful pictures of the four stages of butterfly development - http://www.acnatsci.org/education/L2L/Four_Stages_of_Development.html
Cooking - Butterfly Toast - toast bread; cut out a butterfly shape using a cookie cutter; "decorate" the butterfly with peanut butter, jelly, raisins, cream cheese, mini chocolate chips, or whatever you can think of! Enjoy your snack!
Discussion - Butterflies have symmetrical wings. Lead the class into a discussion about symmetry. Show several examples of symmetry. Look at butterfly pictures, find the symmetry.
Art - Make butterflies that have symmetrical wings. Provide a large butterfly shape for each student. Allow the students to use a variety of art materials to create their version of symmetrical butterfly wings.
Use the butterflies to replace the caterpillars on the tree in day 1.
Discussion - Label the parts of the butterfly. See the Enchanted Learning website - http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/insects/label/butterfly.shtml
Have the butterfly printed out along with word cards for the children to glue to the correct places.
Book making - Go to the Enchanted Learning website to get directions on making a butterfly book. Print the cover and add the life cycle pages from day 2 and the label the parts of the butterfly from day 4. http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/books/butterflybook/
Cooking - Butterfly Cookies - use the refrigerated sugar cookie dough. Give each student a piece of foil with their name on it, this will ensure that each child gets their own cookie. Next, give each student 2 slices of dough and a plastic knife. To make the butterfly start with a long, thin piece of dough for the body; add 4 sections of dough to form the wings. Decorate using sprinkles or after baking the cookies, frost and then add sprinkles.
Art - Make an origami butterfly to decorate - http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/butterfly/origami/