The Gist and…Why I LOVE it:
Caterpillar, Ladybug and Bee live in a lovely garden and are friends. However, Bee and Ladybug can fly and Caterpillar cannot. He is always saddened when he is left by himself when they fly away to go off exploring. One day when they return they cannot find Caterpillar anywhere so they ask the wise snail where he might be. Snail tells them that he is sleeping in a chrysalis. They wait for him to wake up and as he peeks out he announces that he is now a lovely Butterfly. They fly off together leaving poor snail behind.
Story Telling Tips:
I have a different voice for each of the main characters of the story. I hot glue a foam mask to a paint stick and when I read that character’s part I hold the mask over my face. (I ordered my masks from Oriental Trading Co.)
After the story we graph which character in the story was our favorite. Click on the link to view/print a copy of the Caterpillar’s Wish graph.
We make a life cycle of a butterfly caterpillar. Click on the link to view/print the caterpillar/butterfly life cycle pattern.
When you get done with the art project, students can use their caterpillar as a bookmark. They will enjoy taking their caterpillar home and explaining the life cylce of a butterfly to their families.
To get the "wiggles" out, I have my students use their caterpillar as a manipulative to do the Caterpillar Pokey. Click on the link to view/print the Caterpillar Pokey song.
I put a caterpillar in my change bag, which I refer to as a chrysalis, out pops a butterfly. If I use my double-load change bag I put an egg in and then out comes a caterpillar. I re-insert the caterpillar and then out comes the butterfly.
The magic word of course is metamorphosis. Click on the link to view the butterfly life cycle magic trick on my video page; scroll down to the 6th one.
The magic trick really helps nail the concept and the new "chrysalis" and “metamorphosis” vocabulary words. They could see this a zillion times and never get tired of seeing it again and again.
We review the life cycle of the butterfly via a poster; I point to the various steps. I also pass out numbered pieces to a life cycle of a butterfly puzzle that I also bought from Insect Lore. I call for a number and we arrange the pieces on the floor.
I purchase live larvae from this company as well and we watch the caterpillars eat and eat and then finally go into the J-position, form their chrysilis and then emerge as Painted Lady butterflies in about 14 days. My students are absolutely thrilled. It's well worth the money as students can see this fascinating process first hand. I re-use the butterfly house that I purchased initially and then simply re-order the caterpillars each year.
After I read the story, I assign parts to my students who are not shy. I made simple costumes out of large towels by simply cutting a hole in the center so that they would easily fit over a child's head.
I cut up another black towel and appliqued heart and stripe details to the ladybug and bee towels and then outlined the details with puffy paint. I drew a swirl on the purple snail towel with silver puffy paint.
I sewed a black thorax stripe down the center of two turquoise towels to make a huge butterfly and then appliqued on yellow hearts. The children held up foam masks. A plastic headband with pipe cleaner antennae and laminated construction paper heart pieces on the ends completed their costumes.
Since my students can’t read I sit in the audience and prompt them as to what they should say and then they repeat it. The rest of my students sit in the audience. I have two helpers hold up a grey sheet that caterpillar crawls under. This is the chrysalis.
Another student plays the butterfly. She is also hiding behind the sheet 'til it is time for her to pop out. The audience yells "metamorphosis!"
I made a black cone shaped stinger that I safety pin to my bee’s bottom. On the bee's back is a sign that says: The End. After the production, all performers come out and take a bow and then bumblebee turns around so everyone can read the sign.
The audience claps. My students enjoy doing this so much that I’ll repeat it several times over the next few days so that everyone can have a turn. By the third time I don’t have to prompt much as to what they need to say.
Whatever books you're reading this month, I hope they help you soar to new heights!