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Summer is in the air and so are butterflies. Don’t you just love seeing a butterfly flutter by as you stroll to your destination? My children love trying to catch them, but those flutters are too quick for their little hands. I thought to myself, why not order caterpillars so they can see the changes of a butterfly’s life cycle. They were already familiar with the life cycle of a butterfly from the very popular children’s book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle about a caterpillar who ate too much and then transformed into a beautiful butterfly. We have read the book so many times that they have memorized the story. So, I made the decision to order the Insect Lore Butterfly Garden kit as a surprise, and boy were they surprised when the package arrived.
Before the package arrived, I knew I wanted them to document the transformation from day one to the very end. What better way than a caterpillar to butterfly life cycle journal? I set out to make just the journals, but in the end, I made several relatable worksheets to go along with the caterpillars transformation. There are two versions of the journal because my children are 4 and 6 years old, and developmentally, they aren’t able to do the same things. Both have a jar to draw their observations, circle a picture to indicate what they see, and label which observation day it is. My daughter is capable of writing sentences, therefore I included lines for her to write about her observations and drawings. My son provided a dictation about his drawing which I wrote in his journal. What I liked most about having the journals was watching my children go back to the previous pages to look at their drawings to see the changes and having meaningful conversations with each other.
They used these cut and paste worksheets was after the caterpillars turned into butterflies. The focus was to recall what happened and in the correct order. In addition, it provided an opportunity for my children to work on their scissors skills. I try my best to incorporate some type of fine motor activity when I do activities with them. My daughter's has sequence words and space to write sentences.
It was amazing to see how quickly the caterpillars grew in a short period of time. We closely observed and updated the journals for two weeks until the metamorphosis process was completed. My children were so excited about the process that they updated their journals without me asking. I must say, I have purchased butterfly kits for years in my Prek classes every spring, and I have never noticed the observation my daughter made. She noticed that you can see the butterfly's wings through the chrysalis (cocoon). I have never noticed that before! After her awesome observation, we used that as an indicator to let us know when the other butterflies were going to emerge.
While we waited for the other butterflies to hatch, we placed orange slices in the net for the others to drink ‘nectar’. My children understood that we did not have fresh flowers in our home, so the alternative was a piece of fruit.
They all hatched on different days, so we waited 3 days after the last butterfly to release them. The excitement on my daughter's face about the ‘release party’ was priceless. She was very hopeful about a butterfly landing on her finger, and what do you know, a butterfly landed on her finger!
Sadly, summer will be over before you know it, but I have just the thing to cheer you up if you decide to get your own butterfly kit. Check out this freebie cut and paste worksheet.
Hi, I am Odessa. I'm a mom of two wonderful children and a teacher. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education and a Master of Science in Childhood Education with over 10 years of PreK and Kindergarten experience. I am a lover of all things literacy for children and their curiosity of the world. Get comfy and click around my site. I hope you find something you'll like, and something your kids will love! P.S. Akwaaba means 'welcome' :)
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