Spring is the time for new life. Flowers and trees begin to bud, baby animals are introduced into the world, and the earth wakes up from its dormant winter slumber. In the spirit of new life, spring beauty, and rejuvenation, Susan Caplan of Suite101 offers a wonderful comprehensive craft on the life cycle of the butterfly that will fit great into your life science lessons.
This four-stage craft offers a fun learning experience as children journey through each phase of a butterfly’s formation. In the first stage, students will discover that butterflies start as eggs. They will be amazed to find out that a female butterfly can lay up to 1,000 eggs at a time and, to protect them from sunlight and predators, chooses to deposit them on the underside of a leaf. In seven to twenty days, the eggs begin to hatch, producing the subject of the next stage: caterpillars. In the second stage, the children will learn that, just like them, caterpillars eat to grow big and strong. They will also find that, unlike them, caterpillars spend most of their time eating and that, as they expand, they shed layers of skin in a process called molting to make way for this expansion.
Stage three is where children will discover the butterfly chrysalis (also referred to as a pupa). While the science may be too advanced, students will be fascinated to learn that this ‘cocoon’ is made out of the caterpillar’s skin and that it only takes a week to ten days for the short, stubby caterpillar to metamorphose into a beautiful and graceful butterfly. The fourth stage will, of course, focus on the butterfly. Students will learn that it only takes this insect four hours to master flying and also that a butterfly’s life span is very short. Caplan offers a neat and creative learning experience with this craft!
Butterfly Life Cycle Craft: Classroom, Homeschool and Preschool Lesson on Insect Metamorphosis
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