Sunday, April 25, 2010

Butterfly Mini-Unit Study

After years of structured science curriculums with my older kids, and Apologia Astronomy last year with all of the kids I decided to take a more relaxed approach to Science this year with my younger two.  We have been studying more interest based Science topics using living books and experiments, along with a lot of nature study.  I must say I am absolutely LOVING this approach!  It's been such a fun year, and the kids have really enjoyed it.  I am honestly surprised by how much they have learned just reading and having fun.  Next year Sunshine will return to a text based Science curriculum since she will be in fourth grade, and I feel she will be in need of a more rigorous curriculum but Little Man and I will definitely continue on this relaxed science journey. 

But that's not why you are here you want to hear about our Butterfly mini-unit study.  I wouldn't consider it a full unit study because the week we did it we only had a short three day school week, and it was just a quick study.  In the near future however I do plan to complete the study by actually hatching butterflies in a Butterfly Garden with the kids.

I based our unit study around the book My, Oh My A Butterfly from The Cat in the Hat's Learning Library series of books.  It's a book we have had on our shelf for a while that I have wanted to use but just hadn't got around to using yet.


On the first day of our mini-unit study we read My, Oh My a Butterfly.  After reading the book we talked about the life cycle of a butterfly, and I had the kids memorize the steps in a butterfly's life cycle.  To help reinforce the life cycle of a butterfly we colored this worksheet on the life cycle of a butterfly.


After we colored the sheet we cut it out and glued it onto a piece of construction paper to make it easier to hang up for display.

On the second day of our study we read Are You a Butterfly? and then made some butterflies of our own. 


For our first project I free-hand drew a large butterfly wing on four pieces of white construction paper.  I gave each child two wings to paint.

We used paint brushes and tempera paint to splatter paint the wings. 



Little Man doesn't quite understand the concept of splatter painting and instead just painted his butterfly with the toothbrush. 

After we finished painting the butterflies we sprinkled them with salt to give them a textured look.

After letting our wings dry over night we cut a body for our butterflies out of brown construction paper.  We glued the body to the wings.

Sunshine used pink bendy straws that she cut down for her antennas



but Little Man used construction paper to make his antenna (which he lost one of somewhere along the way)


Since we already had the paint out we also made butterflies from our hand prints



On the third day we read Where Butterflies Grow, and finished making our splatter paint butterflies. 



Here's what our completed week's projects looked like 

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