Saturday, May 5, 2018

Exploring Butterflies

I hid something new in a box and told the kids that they could guess what it was!  The only clue they had was the size of the box.  They came up with some great guesses!

They were very excited to see that there were caterpillars inside of the box.  Immediately they began to wonder things about the caterpillars.  "Are they predators?" "How many legs do they have?" "Are they a type of worm?" "Can caterpillars grow up?"

I set them up a few different ways for the kids to observe and record what they notice.

I made sure to also incorporate books for research and paper for observations and story paper for butterfly inspired stories.

I also set out an area for small world play but added clay for them to create their own butterflies or caterpillars for their stories.

 My family took a trip to a butterfly house in Cincinnati and a blue morpho butterfly kept on landing on my husband.  I showed them this picture and it became one of their favorite types of butterflies along with the monarch.

Th kids created sculptures of a blue morpho butterfly emerging out of its chrysalis. We stuffed a paper bag with scrap paper and used the iPad to see what their chrysalis looked like. They were light green, round on the top and pointy on the bottom.  They went about trying to replicate it!

 They used blue and turquoise tissue paper on a paper plate to make the blue morpho butterflies.  They accented the wings in black like the photos we had seen and then they asked if they could add glitter.  This group would add glitter to everything if I let them!

Some friends enjoyed using the language of sculpture to show what they noticed about butterflies.

I loved how they also recorded their observations and labeled the parts of the butterfly while at the sculpture table!

 When they finally hatched, we discussed what, as living things, they needed to survive.  They knew through our research that they needed nectar so we put our flowers in it.  I added orange slices to make sure they had enough. They really enjoyed watching the butterflies use their proboscis to drink from the orange slices!

After observing them for a couple days, they started debating what type of butterfly they were.  Most thought they were monarchs because of the orange and black coloring.  Others thought it was a painted lady because it had a brown body.  We watched videos of the cycle of each kind.  They noticed the monarch caterpillar and chrysalis was very different from ours.  They realized our butterflies were painted ladies based on the type of caterpillars they were, what their chrysalis looked like and the brown body.

Finally, it was time to give them thier freedom.  We took them outside and let them go.  One decided to stick around and let the kids take a very close look for quite a long time!

We documented what we learned by creating the butterfly life cycle to hang in the hallway to show other students what we learned.

The kids also loved creating butterflies out of coffee filters in this oldie but goodie activity!  They used water based markers to create beautiful designs on the filter and then we sprayed them with water.  The affect was bright and beautiful!  They wrapped a pipe cleaner around the filter for the body and antennas.

Here are a few other things going on in our room!

Exploring the attributes of three dimensional shapes.

Subtraction Smash!

Exploring the attributes of two dimensional shapes.

Creating addition and subtraction stories using insects.

Writing and reading sight words or c-v-c words the old fashioned way: with a quill and ink (or in this case, liquid water colors).

In our dramatic play area, they have turned it into a jewelry making area!  A lot of math is happing in this area!  Patterns, symmetry and measuring mostly.

The kids have been showing an interest in knocking over dominoes so next, we are going to explore Rube Goldberg machines and see where that takes us!


  1. I will be switching to kindergarten next year and I am so excited - your blog has been an inspiration for the last few years and I can hardly wait to put some of the ideas into place. I am curious about your daily/weekly schedule, how do you fir your inquiry in along with everything else?

    1. If you email me at, I can email you some schedule samples!