We may still be bundled up for winter, but spring is right around the corner! Now is the perfect time to stock up on lessons that will enrich learning during the season of Spring.
Have you ever brought caterpillars or a butterfly kit into the classroom? Butterfly kits are a wonderful way to see the process of metamorphosis in action. Children are always amazed when they see the caterpillars slowly gain weight, build their chrysalis and emerge as a butterfly.
Supplement this learning with butterfly replicas. These figurines depict the various stages of metamorphosis and provide a hands on learning experience for children as they observe the changing butterflies in front of them. They are also perfect when pairing with three part cards!
Don't have the ability to care for caterpillars in your classroom? Invite the children in your classroom to explore metamorphosis with the beautifully made wooden butterfly lifecycle puzzle. This puzzle has a separate layer for each stage of the lifecycle, so it is the perfect extension to the lesson.
Metamorphosis is a fantastic lesson to give at circle time. Begin by reading the very hungry caterpillar, a classic by Eric Carle. Next, take a moment to focus on each part of metamorphosis and explain how the caterpillar changes in each stage. Using a visual like these giant butterfly lifecycle magnets is the perfect way to engage visual learners.
Studying the lifecycles can expand far beyond a lesson about butterfly metamorphosis. From horses, turtles and fish to frogs and birds, Maria Montessori knew the importance of teaching children the lifecycles of each of the major vertebrate groups.
Extend your lifecycle curriculum this spring with puzzles, nesting blocks and pond life felt pieces. These works are sure to add a variety of interesting materials for your students to explore.
Another way to extend learning about lifecycles is to incorporate additional types of animals. Lady bugs and bees are a wonderful way to extend this learning while relating the life cycles to animals that children see in their backyard every day. Use them as a way to talk about invertebrates or use the bees as a way to explore the concept of pollinators.