Thursday, 7 June 2012

The Lamb and the Butterfly

Continuing our insect studies, and to finish the adult stage of caterpillars, we are moving on to butterflies. We used the book, The Lamb and the Butterfly by Arnold Sundergaard and illustrated by Eric Carle.

Book List: The Lamb and the Butterfly, Gotta  Go, Gotta Go, The Butterfly House, Waiting for Wings, The Prince of Butterflies, Monarch Butterfly of Aster Way, Hi, Butterfly, Fly Monarch Fly, The Butterfly Alphabet, Bob and Otto, Hurry and the MonarchButterflies and Moths, Butterfly and Moth

Related DVD's: The Magic School Bus: Bugs, Bugs, Bugs

Unit Study
Story Planner:  Using a 4 part Wheel, we divide the story up into Main Character(s), Setting, Problem and Solution. Go over your story more than once to answer these questions if you need to. As we are covering questions in our grammar section, now is a good time to emphasize the fact that you are asking them. How do we find out the answers if we have no questions?

Story Sequence:  Using stuffed animals act out the story. Maybe you have enough children for each character in the story and you can act it out that way. I drew a series of sequence cards and the girls had to put them in order. Instead you could ask your children to draw the beginning of the story, the middle and the end.

Comprehension: What do we notice about the story? Do we see any patterns? Patterns are things that we see happening again and again. Here are what my girls noticed: questions and answers that explained what butterflies are like, flowers, kicked up his heels, zig zag, 5 senses and illustrations that reminded them of The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Art and Math: Draw out one side of a butterfly on a folded peice of paper and explain symmetry. Symmetry is when you can divide a shape or object right down the centre and both sides are exactly the same. Before you cut your butterfly out, choose some scraps of paper. Have your children guess some shapes that might be symmetrical and experiment. I learned that a star IS symmetrical. My brain told me it wouldn't be, but it was! Then, choose a letter or number that is not symmetrical and try to cut that out. Ask why didn't that work?
Now return to your large butterfly. Is this a symmetrical shape? Yes! So cut it out and get ready for some art.

At the back of the book there is a write up on Eric Carle. It talks about his life and his feelings on butterflies. "Since his early childhood, Eric Carle has been intensely interested in nature, and many of his books have animals or insects as characters. Butterflies, in particular, symbolise for him the spirit of artistic creation, and they appear in nearly all his works. The pictures... are done in a combination of acrylic painting and collage." Take out a selection of books by Eric Carle. Let the children look through for pictures of butterflies. Leaving the pages open to these pictures, get out some paints (we used acrylics) and some tissue paper. Tear different coloured strips from the tissue paper and set them in a pile next to your butterfly. As you paint the butterfly, add the little strips in layers to create a look similar to the art of Eric Carle. I was astounded by my kids creativity. Next, proudly display these for the rest of the unit! Enjoy!

Science: Using the questions provided in the book we reviewed some information about butterflies and learned some new things too. Make sure that as each question is answered the vocabulary/spelling words are reviewed.
1. Where is your Mother?
What did the butterfly answer? What is your answer? We felt that the butterflies mother would not be alive any more as butterflies die shortly after depositing all their eggs. This is a good time to review the life cycle of the butterfly. As we used a wheel for this last time, I chose a 3 piece shutterfold mini book and cut outs to glue, this time. Review your vocabulary word for the day- Metamorphisis. Meta means BIG. and Morph means change. So Metamorphisis means big change. They sure are right about that! Discuss the amazing changes that the little egg must go through to become a caterpillar and then, for the chrysalis to become the butterfly. God's creations are marvellous! This is a great place to slip in a Bible Verse. We used 2 Corinthians 5:17. My oldest not only memorized but used this for copywork too.

2. Where does a butterfly sleep?
What did the butterfly answer? What is your answer? We read Butterfly House at this point and another good read would be the poem "Where Does the Butterfly Go When it Rains?"  Discuss the butterflies habitat. Using a house booklet, name some of the features of that habitat. Why are butterflies disappearing at an alarming rate?  Because habitat is disappearing at an alarming rate. What things can you do in your own backyard to encourage butterflies? An excellent resource for a butterfly garden can be found here.

3. Why does he flutter?
We watched this movie, Metamorposis: the Beauty and Design of Butterflies, and learned so much about these absolutely amazing little creatures. For example, 2 males fighting may look like they are fluttering, but a male attracting his mate may flutter too. Fluttering can be a way of drying off or warming up and cooling down. Have your child write down all the possibilities s/he can think of in the butterfly shaped book. It may be a good opportunity to discuss the differences in cold-blooded and warm-blooded creatures with an older child.

While we were discussing butterfly mating, Buttercup wanted to know how butterflies kissed. After much discussion, we decided that when we give butterfly kisses we must be mimicing them or why else would they be called that? Then we watched the video. The girls loved and Poppa Pauley loved it even more. How do you give butterfly kisses?

4. Why doesn't he want to stay with the lamb?
Identify the differences between the lamb and the butterfly using a Venn diagram.
Some things we thought of were warm-blooded vs. cold-blooded, mammal vs. insect, flying vs. walking, scaled vs. wooly.....

5. Isn't that a butterfly?
What exactly is a butterfly? (an insect)
What is an insect? Using the Parts of an Insect booklet and the Anatomy sheet (which you could glue to the Venn if you wanted) review what makes a butterfly an insect. In this section, Spiracle was our vocabulary word.

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