Life Cycle of a Butterfly - Third Phase

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SWBAT observe a chrysalis, diagram and label the parts.

Big Idea

All organisms in life go through transformations that change their life in drastic ways. This lesson will add a new stage to the understanding of the life of a butterfly.

Setting the Stage

5 minutes

There will be times when not all lessons will lend themselves to an inquiry lesson.  Enabling the teacher to build more background knowledge that will lead to further learning in subsequent lessons. This lesson really lends itself to just that.  It is based more on attempting to explain the importance of the chrysalis and the transformation the butterfly will go through.  

Having live specimens in the classroom for the students to observe and see in action are great and make the experience more real and exciting.  However, because it is not possible to sit and watch the entire process minute by minute; or to see what is happening within the chrysalis itself, this lesson becomes a vital part of the sequence of teaching. 


5 minutes

I use the Life Cycle of the Butterfly - Chrysalis Power Point to help explain and offer visual pictures for the students to explain this portion of the unit.  Power points are great for offering large visuals for ELL students to see while explaining difficult concepts. 

"Ok, boys and girls, I really want to show you a great video clip that I think you will love. Please adjust your chairs so you will be able to see the screen.  You don't want to miss any of this. It happens quickly." 

After showing the video clip to the children, I ask them to think about what they saw on the screen.  I bring to them a small blank paper and I ask them sketch out what they saw in the video clip.  I wait for approximately three minutes for all the children to finish.  When they are done, I ask them to turn to their shoulder buddy and compare their sketches.  

"What did you notice about your sketches? Did you have the same sequences in your sketches?  Did you include all that you saw in the video clip?" 


10 minutes

Slide four shows pictures of a chrysalis from different angles.  I ask the children, "How do you know the changes are happening inside the chrysalis? Is there some way to see what it looks like?  These are great photographs, but I want to really see it. Would you like to as well?  Let's watch this and see if shows us more."

I show the video to the children.  Which brings a lot of "ooh" and "ahh" comments.  This is a pretty amazing video clip to witness.  It really dispels the "how does it happen?" question. This is a direct connection to the cross cutting concept of cause and effect.  This is a good time to discuss the relationship between what happens after the caterpillar has changed and moved into this phase.  

During this stage, I want the children to be able to see more than just the outside of the chrysalis.  I believe it is important they understand that the metamorphosis process is not magic. The changes are happening within the chrysalis, but they are not able to see them.  Through the video clip they will be able to view the changes. 

 I show slide five for the children to look at after watching the video clip because it show the last stage of the chrysalis.  I ask the children to face their shoulder buddy and explain to each other each stage of the picture on the screen.  This provides an opportunity for the children to speak and practice the language of the metamorphosis stage. 



10 minutes

Slide six offers a quick formative assessment to determine if the children internalized the vocabulary of the lesson as well as the correct placement of the body parts of the butterfly within the chrysalis. 

The children will glue these into their journals and I will look at them after the lesson to determine if they have understood the information and concepts of the lesson.