Monday, June 1, 2009

Create Your Own Butterfly

I recently had the pleasure of spending a full week with a wonderful class of second graders. I was able to create my own lessons so, of course, there was an art project involved. The second graders had been studying butterflies and were even tracking their life cycle. When I arrived, the butterflies were hanging in chrysalises from the roof of a mesh tent. Over the course of the week, all of the butterflies emerged. It was very exciting. One even came out of its chrysalis into my hand! It was a magical experience.
The kids loved those butterflies and wanted to spend every minute looking at them or talking about them. On the last day of the week we learned about the parts of the butterfly's body. Rather than just labeling a blank image of a butterfly, the kids made their own butterflies, added the markings of the Painted Lady (the type of butterfly they were observing), and labeled the body parts. They did a great just.

The students had the option of showing the butterfly from the top with its wings spread out, or from the side. I created tracers for the wings and body and handed out black and orange construction paper. The kids traced and cut out the pieces and then glued them onto another sheet of construction paper. They colored the wings so the butterflies looked like Painted Ladies. Finally, the students labeled the parts of the body, being careful to spell everything correctly. Some of those words are tough to spell!

The kids cut around their butterflies so that all the artwork would fit on the bulletin board. The students were excited to share their butterflies with their teacher on Monday.

It was such a fantastic experience. I learned a lot of lessons I could never have learned in teacher classes and I discovered just how much work it is to prepare for each day. I am so inspired.

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