I'm just now getting around to sharing with you the excitement in my classroom the last few weeks of school. We were reading stories about living things and growing and changing. Then our wonderful instructional coach ordered live caterpillars for every kindergarten class. I had never experienced this process myself, and I think that I was almost more excited than the students to enter the classroom each morning to see what change had taken place overnight or over the weekend.
Excitement was in the air when our FIVE caterpillars arrived in this clear, small, plastic cup.
Students immediately said, "Yuck! What's all that stuff in the bottom?" Well, that stuff was their food they needed in order to survive until they attached themselves to form a chrysalis. The caterpillars were very small when we first got them, and they ate and ate and ate until they were so much bigger.
After several days, all five of them finally made it to the top of the cup and attached themselves to the paper disc. This was so amazing to watch. We had to make sure we did not disturb them while they were hardening into their chrysalis.
After they had hardened, we took the paper disc out of the cup and pinned it to the inside of the butterfly habitat. When I took the paper disc out of the cup, two of them were shaking back and forth like crazy. I guess they didn't want to be bothered. The students thought it was hilarious!
It took several days for the first Painted Lady Butterfly to emerge. Of course it happened during the night or early morning before we arrived at school.
I was very excited, :) I mean the students were very excited when they came in and saw the butterfly.
Their wings had to dry for a while, and then they started fluttering around in their habitat. The directions told us to put sugar water on a paper towel in the bottom of the habitat so that they would have something to drink. We also read not to put a container of sugar water in there because this may cause them to drown. If you look closely, you can see 2 of the 3 butterflies that have emerged.
Now we are waiting on the last 2 hanging at the bottom of the paper disc. During this entire process, we never actually caught a butterfly coming out of the chrysalis. One day after walking the students to activity class, I came back to the room and two more had emerged. It all happens so quickly! Their wings were never crumpled/wrinkled when we saw them. I actually thought it would be a slow process.
The students LOVED observing the caterpillars and butterflies on a daily basis. I allowed the students to take turns observing throughout the day. It was so precious watching how careful they were not to touch or knock the habitat when they went to observe. Finally all 5 butterflies had emerged. It was so neat to see the butterflies drink the sugar water with their proboscis. The students were
After observing the butterflies for a couple of days, it was time to release them outside. It took them a while to find their way out. I think it would have helped if the whole top would have opened, but it only unzipped halfway. You can see one at the top about to fly away into freedom.
The other butterflies still didn't seem to want to come out, so we turned it on its side.
Finally all 5 butterflies flew away to freedom. This one below flew to the grass and waited a few minutes. I think it was enjoying the warm sunshine. The students were amazed and had so much fun with this activity. I might have enjoyed it a little also! :)
While learning about butterflies, students enjoy "Butterflies Read and Write" and "Emergent Reader: Butterflies."
In "Butterflies Read and Write," students read a cute short story about butterflies, color the pictures, and then read 10 sentences about the story and fill in the blanks with the correct word at the end of the sentence. This helps check for reading comprehension, and it's also great for introducing Close Reading!
You can find "Butterflies Read and Write" HERE!
The "Emergent Reader: Butterflies" focuses on a variety of sight words including: will, some, in, the, get, my, help, me, with, is, pretty, are, too, of, and like. These emergent readers are great for guided reading groups.
You can find the "Emergent Reader: Butterflies" HERE!
While we were learning about growing and changing, we also planted some sunflower seeds. This shows our plants after we put them outside in the sunshine one day. The students had so much fun observing the changes in our plants also.
On the last day before taking the plants home to share with their families, they made their last observation and writing about sunflowers.
A couple of other activities that are great for learning about plants are "Plants Read and Write" and "Emergent Reader: Let's Plant!"
In "Plants Read and Write," students read a cute short story about plants, color the pictures, and then read 10 sentences about the story and fill in the blanks with the correct word at the end of the sentence. This helps check for reading comprehension, and it's also great for introducing Close Reading!
You can find "Plants Read and Write" HERE!
The "Emergent Reader: Let's Plant" focuses on a variety of sight words including: will, some, in, the, get, my, help, me, with, is, pretty, are, too, of, and like. These emergent readers are great for guided reading groups.
You can find the "Emergent Reader: Let's Plant" HERE!
I hope you have enjoyed reading about our caterpillars/butterflies and plants growing and changing. I also hope you have found something useful you can use in your classroom. Do you have any exciting ideas for these topics? If so, please share below. I would love to hear from you.
Thanks for stopping by!