Today we did an easy project that depicts life cycle of the butterfly. Here’s what you need: Paper, glue, white rice, macaroni pasta, shell pasta (medium size), and bow tie pasta. What I did was cut the paper (I used green) into a large circle and divided the circle into quarters with a back permanent marker. I had a simple illustration showing how the butterfly starts as an egg, becomes a caterpillar, goes into a cocoon, and then comes out a butterfly (something we’ve already gone over and read many times).
From this the children glued one piece of white rice into the upper left quadrant, one macaroni pasta into the upper right quadrant, a shell pasta into the lower right quadrant, and lastly a bow tie pasta in the lower left quadrant. In each space the children also labeled the items with the words: egg, caterpillar, cocoon, and butterfly. I had the words written out and they just copied them. I know I could have used the word “pupa” instead of “caterpillar” and “chrysalis” instead of “cocoon” but I choose not to as the majority of the books we’ve read don’t use those words and I didn’t want to confuse the children!
They really enjoyed this project and many got a kick out of “reading” the words to me as they went over the process! After we were done I realized that perhaps the children could have colored a scene around each item to put them in a more natural setting. Or we could have glued the “egg” onto a leaf, the “caterpillar” on a small stick or leaf, the “cocoon” on a small twig, and the “butterfly” onto a fake flower. Oh well, the children enjoyed it anyway! They couldn’t wait to take them home so they could “read” them to their parents!