Hatching chicks in the classroom is probably my favorite activity every year! Not only is it a wonderful hands-on life science lesson, hatching chicks in the classroom also creates the perfect stage for you to teach concepts across the curriculum because your students are so engaged!
This is a beautiful, heart-warming story of a girl who rescues a caterpillar and how she and her grandfather build a butterfly house to care for it. This is one of those rare treasures (like so many of Eve Bunting's books) that I read every. single. year!
I use this story during my butterfly unit. It has the perfect blend of a narrative as well as facts about the painted lady butterflies.
Before I even open the book, I like to invite the students to enjoy looking at the cover and making observations. This is the perfect time to encourage children to make predictions about the story.
A prediction is a smart guess about what
may happen after looking at clues.
Ask leading questions:
What do you predict the story will be about?
What on the cover makes you think that?
Next, access your students' prior knowledge - schema.
Prior Knowledge (schema) is what we already know about a topic.
What do they already know about butterflies?
You might want to use the 'Predictions & Schema' page from the (free) book companion.
An inference is the reasonable guess we make about the meaning when we take clues from a text and add what we already know about a topic (background knowledge).
Some questions to encourage inferencing:
What would the jay have done to the 'small creature'?
Where does the grandfather live?
Where is the girl at the end of the story?
You may want to fill out the 'Making Inferences' with your students as you read the book. I like to do it as a group so that the students can express themselves verbally as they practice making inferences.
This story lends itself beautifully to the further investigation of the life cycle of the butterfly. I have included a cute little flap book and life cycle cards to use to teach and review the life cycle of the butterfly.
When I was teaching kindergarten, I would read this story on the last day of school. I told my little sweeties that they were like those caterpillars - I had tried my best to care for them and teach them what they needed to flutter into life! (WARNING: you may have some tears.) Then I said that I was like the girl, now older, who would love for them to come back to me in the years to come and tell me all the amazing things that are happening in their lives -
and many of them do!
If you would like additional resources to teach the life cycle of the butterfly, please check out my butterfly unit, filled with science and literacy resources and activities.
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Posted by Peggy Means at April 15, 2016