Wednesday, May 16, 2012

BUGS!--Butterfly Life Cycle

As I mentioned in this post, all insects go through the same life cycle, from egg, to larva, to pupa, to adult, and back to egg again.  Since the Camp Scarlet kids are getting a little older, I thought I should start being a little more intentional about injecting a little science into their experience, so during our entire BUGS! theme, I'm sneaking in little life cycle snippets, emphasizing that every insect goes through these four distinct stages in its life.

Earlier this week, we decided to make a visual representation of the butterfly life cycle.

First, I created the lifecycle document, just a circle divided into four sections, with arrows pointing around the circle (click here to print your own copy).  Next, from this website, I printed out the words for each stage of the cycle, using dotted lines for the kids to trace.  I cut them out and pasted one in each quadrant of the circle.

I cut a leaf out of green paper for our egg, and a branch out of brown paper for our pupa.  Then we set to work on our lifecycle, using our fingerprints and little stamp spots.  The kids traced each word, then added their fingerprints.

First, the egg, using just the tip of a pinky finger:

Next, the larva, or caterpillar, using the tip of an index finger:

Next came the pupa, or chrysalis, using the side of a pinky finger:

And finally, the adult, or butterfly.  We used thumbs for the upper wings, and index fingers for the lower wings.

I added a few details with a black marker and we were done :)

As an alternative to fingerprints, you can use pasta to diagram the butterfly lifecycle--use rice or orzo for the egg, a spiral pasta like rotini for the larva, shell pasta for the pupa, and bowtie pasta for the butterfly, as explained here.  Pasta is less messy, but fingerprints are much cuter :)

If you're looking for a good book to read about the butterfly life cycle, try Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert, which has gorgeous illustrations, and details the life cycle of 4 different kinds of butterflies.

Or The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle is a great one, too.

Have fun!  Up next: ladybugs :)

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