Best Butterfly Lesson Plan Ideas for Pre-Kindergarteners
Do you plan on teaching your preschool and kindergarten age children about butterflies this year? Are you in need of a few lesson plan ideas? If so, you may want to check out my list of activity suggestions. Here they are:
Looking for a math related activity? Well then, you may want to visit the Scholastic website. It features a handout entitled “Twenty Butterflies to Count.” Like the handout’s title suggests, it will help the children learn to count and write numbers. They can also color the butterflies that are on the handout. You could continue the math lesson by talking to the children about symmetry. Once you’ve explained what symmetry is, ask them to count the number of dots on a pair of butterfly wings. You could also create patterns using butterflies and caterpillars that the children could complete, sort or count.
Need a science related activity too? I would suggest talking to the children about how butterflies move. Point out how sometimes they flap their wings and other times they glide like a paper airplane. Proceed by letting the children make paper airplanes and fly them around the room. Then turn on an oscillating fan and have the children fly their airplanes again to show them how wind patterns may affect a butterfly’s flight.
Continue by talking to the children about a butterfly’s wing colors and patterns. Explain to the children that in the wild, those things are used for camouflage and to let predictors know that they are poisonous. Afterward, demonstrate the concept of warning coloration by showing the children the color yellow and then having them taste a lemon. Next, demonstrate the concept of camouflage by hiding a white cotton ball inside a jar filled with white rice.
Once that’s done, show the children pictures of butterfly host plants and ask them how the colors of the plants may help or hinder the butterfly’s camouflage efforts. You can find a color handout of “Ten Butterfly Host Plants to Know” that may be utilized with the activity posted on the Head Start VA website. There is also a “Butterfly Gardening” color handout posted on the J L; Garden Center’s website that you may find helpful as well. It contains photos and information about what butterflies need to survive.
You can even include a bit of geography into you lesson plan too by talking about migration. To do so, place a large map of the country onto your wall or bulletin board. Then place small replicas of monarch butterflies onto the map to show their migration patterns. You could also take the opportunity to talk to the children about seasonal changes.
Arts and Crafts
Don’t forget to include an arts and crafts activity into your lesson plan as well. One great way to do that is to talk to the children about a butterfly’s life cycle. When you are finished talking, have the kids create butterfly life cycle mobiles for the classroom. You can find complete instructions for making one posted on the Enchanted Learning website.
Once that’s done, have them create caterpillars using egg cartons or paper chains. Instructions for both projects are also listed on the Enchanted Learning website along with two booklets. The first booklet is entitled “This Butterfly…” The booklet will teach the children about the colors typically found on butterflies. It also has a lined section where they can practice writing the names of the colors. In my experience, it pairs well with the science lesson about camouflage and warning colors. The second booklet is entitled “Life Cycle of a Butterfly.” It would pair well with the mobile exercise.
Of course language arts activities are an important part of a lesson plan too. As such, you may want to consider having the children write an acrostic or cinaquin poem. One way to do that is to utilize the “Adjectives Describing a Butterfly” handout posted on the Enchanted Learning website. The handout may be modified to describe caterpillars, larva, pupas and eggs too. I should also mention that the same website contains a “Butterfly Acrostic Poem” handout that may be utilized as well. Afterward, use those words to create the poems.
When the children are done writing the poems, place them onto a wall or bulletin board alongside a diagram of the butterfly’s life cycle. If you want the children to practice their letter writing as well, the Twisty Noodle website has a “B is for Butterfly” handout that would be ideal for such applications.
Songs and Action Rhymes
Lastly, you may want to teach the children a few butterfly songs and action rhymes. The Kid Courses website has a “B is for Butterfly” black and white handout that contains finger puppet templates and a copy of “The Five Butterflies” action rhyme that you may find beneficial. Additional butterfly themed songs and rhymes are posted on the Can Teach website. Songs of note include “The Fuzzy Caterpillar” and “Birth of a Butterfly.”
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