In today's lesson I plan to engage my students in a discussion about the life cycle of a Monarch butterfly. I also plan for my students to write a sentence and draw a picture of their favorite part of the metamorphosis process. They will end the lesson by orally presenting their sentences to the class.
"I saw some beautiful butterflies today. They were yellow and black. They flew so fast around the flowers and bushes. Did anyone else see the butterflies?"
Students raise their hands.
"Where do butterflies come from? Does anyone know?"
I always get a few bizarre answers, like my grandma has them at her house or they live at the park.
"I have a video I want you to watch and then we will talk about what we learned. This video shows the complete life cycle of a Monarch butterfly."
I like to take advantage of YouTube videos to build background knowledge or introduce my topic to my students. Videos also hook my students into wanting to learn more.
"Now let's read the Butterfly book and see if we learn anything new."
I get out the book and my flannel board set and we start discussing the stages of the butterfly lifecycle as I read.
"I am going to read the book, The Monarch Butterfly . I want all my friends to turn to your partner for this part. Find your partner, go "Knee to Knee and Eye to Eye and using Inside voices". Tell your partner "Hi Partner". We are going to tell our partners about the life cycle of a butterfly. We will do it one part at a time. As you tell your partner, I will put that part up on the board."
I read about the first stage of the butterfly, the egg.
"Turn to your partner and tell your partner, First comes the ____ (egg). Put your hands on your head so I know when you are done talking. "
I place the "egg on a leaf" on the flannel board.
I read about the larvae.
"Now, tell your partner, Next comes the ____ (larvae). Put your hands on your head so I know when you are done talking."
I place the "larvae" on the flannel board.
I read about the caterpillar.
"Tell your partner, then comes the ____ (caterpillar). Put your hands on your head so I know when you are done talking."
I place the "caterpillar" on the flannel board.
I read about the chrysalis.
"Tell your partner,Then the caterpillar makes a ____ (chrysalis). Put your hands on your head so I know when you are done talking."
I place the "caterpillar making a chrysalis" on the flannel board. I also place the "chrysalis" on the board.
I read about the butterfly
"Tell your partner what comes next, Then the ____ comes out of the chrysalis (butterfly). Put your hands on your head so I know when you are done talking."
I place the "butterfly" on the flannel board.
I place the figures and the words in a circle on the flannel board and we quickly review it and agree that all these stages were in the video.
"They call it a life cycle, cycle refers to it looking like a circle. It starts and goes around and the starts again."
"What a wonderful thing that was to learn about. I love how that caterpillar came out of that teeny tiny egg and then changed into a beautiful butterfly. Was that a real story or a make believe story? It was real. We saw the real thing on the video. Real stories or books are called non-fiction. We learn a lot about things by reading non-fiction books."
"Now I want you to think. Put your thinking caps on, buckle them up tight. Think about which part of the metamorphosis was your favorite? Was it the teeny tiny egg on a leaf, the larvae, the caterpillar or the butterfly? "
"While everyone is thinking, paper passers please pass out the paper. Would all the boys, quietly and carefully walk to your cubby to get your pencil boxes. Now, would all the girls quietly and carefully walk to your cubby to get your pencil boxes. "
They sit at their tables and work hard at their writing and drawings. Several students go up and look at the lifecycle on the flannel board. I walk around helping students sound out words and prompt them for more picture details.
When everyone is finished, we gather on the carpet to read our sentences and show off our drawings.
We gather back on the carpet when all my students are finished writing and drawing a detailed picture. This is my favorite part of the lesson. I love to see their interpretation of the assignment and what their favorite part is. I call my students up to the front of the class by small groups or by row to read their sentences. I found my students are comfortable and more willing to participate in the oral presentations when they are surrounded by their peers. Each student gets the opportunity to orally read their sentences to the class. We applaud and cheer after each reading.
I found a fun video that teaches the lifecycle and the word metamorphosis in a song. My students had fun with the song. Videos and songs help my students remember content information and new vocabulary words.