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!
I rarely watch videos in my classroom. I figure parents don’t pay over $100 a week for me to sit their child in-front of the TV (some teachers I work with would disagree). Another reason I don’t watch many videos is because I don’t actually have easy access to a television. There are only two for our entire school, and we have to wheel them to our classes when we want to watch something and put it back afterward. A lot of hassle if you ask me. But on Friday, we did watch a video together. We watched Leap Frog Letter Factory – a video I really love – and so do the children! Not only are children introduced to their letters – but the letter sounds as well!
I usually watch this video about 4 times throughout the school year and I’ve found that it really does help the children learn their letters and letter sounds! The only reason I even have this video is because a parent donated it to my class – but I’m glad they did! After watching the movie my kids were singing their letters sounds the rest of the morning! It was so great to see – and to know that what we had watched had gotten through! Now when we sing the alphabet song, we will sing the letter sounds as well.
Now I’m sitting here wondering if any of you out there use TV in your classroom and how? Do you have a favorite video you watch that helps teach your children a concept? I’d be interested to know how others handle television in the classroom…
I recently received the following question from a reader and since I didn’t have an immediate answer (or the time to go looking) I decided to post it to everyone. I figured that some of you out there might have the answer and at the same time others might be helped out by what everyone has to say on the subject. Here is the question:
“I am looking for little rhymes or sayings to help children to print the letters of the alphabet. I can’t remember any, but have seen them on sites. Do you know what i am talking about and do you know where i can find them?”
I personally don’t use rhymes or sayings to help my children write their letters. I simply walk them through the steps. For example if I were to walk a child through writing an uppercase F, I might say: “Make a straight line down, then go to the top and make a straight line across so that it makes a corner, and then go to the middle and make another straight line across.” While explaining I model what to do so the child has a visual to follow. This has always worked very well for me. I try to break each letter down and walk the children through the process to make it as simple as possible.
I would like to hear how some of you show your children how to write their letters! Also, if any of you could help my reader that would be great! I love hearing all your ideas! 🙂