Butterfly Life Cycle
Elementary, 3rd Grade
Learning Context/ Introduction
Third grade students will be introduced to content of a butterfly's life cycle. A K-W-L chart will launch this section of butterfly facts already known, what is to be learned, and then learned. Students will label correctly an example of a butterfly's life cycle.
What is the life cycle of a butterfly?
Six days (30 minutes per day)
- Introduce the K-W-L chart and subject to be studied.
- Ask the Essential Question: "What is the life cycle of a butterfly?"
- Record students' answers on the K and then W part of the chart. Please see the example Butterfly K-W-L 2.notebook. As they study the adult butterfly, more labels will be added to the diagram.
- Introduce the vocabulary. See vocabulary words in Butterfly Vocabulary.notebook.
- Summarize previous day's discussion from the K-W-L chart.
- Review the vocabulary.
- Play the Vocabulary Match Game in the Butterfly life cycle pairs game.notebook. Have a vocabulary chart with the these words and meanings visible while playing this vocabulary game.
Introduce butterfly concepts using this site www.thebutterflysite.com/biology.shtml (Note: the teacher should be knowledgeable of the information summary
given below before teaching the concepts).
Choose the sections of the butterfly life cycle site mentioned above, and discuss each stage with the class.
Butterfly Life Cycle:
The First Stage: The Egg
The Second Stage: The Larva (Caterpillar)
The Third Stage: Pupa (Chrysalis)
The Fourth Stage: Adult Butterfly
Teacher Notes: As each phase/step of the butterfly's life cycle was discussed with the class, we referred to this butterfly site, www.thebutterflysite.com/biology.shtml. Students were especially interested in the different caterpillar photos from www.pbase.com/crocodile/caterpillars2004. They were able to view several species of caterpillars. Zoom to 150% to show caterpillar details. Point out the compound eyes, spinneret, antennae, setae, prolegs and false legs. Mention how caterpillars blend in their surroundings and protect themselves from predators.
Summary for New Teachers:
Female butterflies lay one to hundreds of eggs, depending upon the species. Eggs are usually glued to a protected area on or near the larva's food plant source. The larva sheds or molts its skin up to 5 times, because it grows very quickly. Metamorphosis takes place during the pupa stage, as the pupa is encased upside down in the chrysalis. An adult butterfly emerges. After the wings dry, the adult will eventually fly to its food source sipping nectar from its proboscis. Other species of butterflies seek different food sources. The whole life cycle process starts again after the mating process. * Note that any environmental interference (temperature etc.) during these stages can be fatal to the butterfly.
- Summarize the previous day's concepts and record what has been learned on the L section of the K-W-L chart. To review and check for understanding, engage the Butterfly SMART Notebook activities file below. To extend and refine, engage Butterfly life cycle pairs game.nbk below.
Students should generate more questions which we added to the K-W-L chart such as, "What are chrysalises made out of? ", and "Do caterpillars eat other caterpillars?"
- In the classroom, model on the SMART Board the activity that will be assessed on day 6.
- Hand out the direction sheet.
- Open the website: www.EnchantedLearning.com.
- Go over each step as a whole group.
- Introduce the rubrics. Answer any questions for clarification of the task involved.
In the computer lab, students will use their direction sheet from Day 5 to complete the assigned task of:
Butterfly K-W-L.notebookButterfly K-W-L 2.notebookButterfly Label Directions.notebookButterfly life cycle pairs game.notebookButterfly Vocabulary.notebook
- accessing the Enchanted Learning site
- printing off the butterfly life cycle worksheet
- correctly labeling the worksheet
Butterfly Lifecycle paper with correctly labeled pictures, Rubrics, observation graphic aids see attachedButterfly Lifecycle Rubric.docxTechnology Rubric
Using SMART Board activities, and Enchanted Learning, students will complete a Butterfly Lifecycle paper with correct labels.
High Life cycle Rubric.pdfMedium Life cycle Rubric.pdfLow Life cycle Rubric.pdfHigh Life cycle.pdfMedium Life cycle.pdfLow Life cycle.pdf
Instructional - Lab, extended time, computer with Internet access.
Environmental - SMART Board with LCD projector, printer.
Caterpillars Photo Gallery by Bev Wigney
Enchanted Learning: Butterfly Life Cycle
Reflections and Feedback
The students enjoyed the interaction of working with the SMART Board activities. Next time I will encourage students to bring in more examples of butterfly life cycles from their home computers. One student did bring in an example of another butterfly's egg. Butterfly pictures were also brought in. Also, check to make sure your direction paper is in sync with student access to the Enchanted LEARNING site in your school's computer lab.