Raising butterflies in our classroom is always one of the highlights each year. We wait with baited breath for our caterpillars to arrive and then we get right to it because they grow fast! This year I knew I wanted to incorporate some butterfly math activities while studying the life cycle.
Collecting Butterfly Data
While raising our caterpillars, I’ve learned if I’m not careful they can be an all-day distraction. To avoid this, I keep each table’s cups in a basket on top of the filing cabinet. I label each cup with the student’s initials and their table number.
Butterfly Math for Graphing Life Cycle
Analyzing the Data
We used some graph chat cards to compare and analyze our graphs.
Discussing the Data
Butterfly Math Using Measurement
First, students spin the spinner, then roll out a ball of dough into a “caterpillar”. They then measure their “caterpillar” and record the length.
Next they spin again and roll out the caterpillar the number of times on the spinner. After that, students measure the new length and record it. Lastly, they compare both lengths to find the difference. Students write a math problem or drawing to show a strategy they used.
Butterfly Science Lab Activities
During our butterfly unit we explored how butterflies help plants grow. We did a pollination simulation using juice boxes and macaroni and cheese powder.
Next, we used kaleidoscopes to imagine looking through an insect’s compound eye.
Students predicted and drew what they thought chosen objects would look like through a compound eye, then wrote a sentence about what they actually saw after looking at the object through their kaleidoscopes.
We learned that being a butterfly isn’t all sunshine and nectar either. They have their problems too!
To incorporate some reading skills, we matched these butterfly problems to their solutions. Raising butterflies offers so many opportunities for writing!
Writing About the Butterfly Life Cycle
You can read all about how we delighted our students and their families by turning our hallway into a life cycle writing garden for our end of year open house! (Be sure to grab the butterfly kids writing freebie pictured while you’re there!)
I hope you’ve found some ideas and activities you can use to incorporate butterfly math, reading, and writing into your own classroom as you raise butterflies!
For more life cycle ideas, check out our plant life cycle study where we used hands-on learning labs to write about science.
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