A few days ago I was ready to start a unit about trees. My kids were not. Since we found our two caterpillars, we have become fascinated by them. It is a very unique opportunity to feed, care for, and watch them transform. Above, you can see Big Sister looking at our chrysalis, and caterpillar who is making its way to the top.
Like always, flexibility needs to be included in our home learning environment. The right time to learn about butterflies is now while they are interested and excited.
I found this set: monarch life cycle set. Little Guy mach the pieces to the pictures.
As I read about the butterfly migration, Big Sister used our map of North America's stencil.
It is hard to see the map, but you can see the flag stickers. Big Sister was coloring her butterflies going north. She realized that we have travel just like the butterflies.
Above, the second caterpillar was almost ready to begin its metamorphosis.
Big Sister wanted to see the transformation. We all stay up about an hour and a half past their usual bedtime.... then we went to bed. The next day we found the new chrysalis :( Thankfully you can watch the transformation on youtube
We talked about the parts of the butterfly, and the kids made a diagram on their learning folders. We used the stamps from the life cycle set.
Big Sister was asking a lot of questions. She wanted to know how monarch caterpillars defend themselves from other insects. We read about the milkweed leaves making them taste awful. We used the Montessori Botany leaf shape. Little Guy used it as a inset. He even remember the inset's lessons and made the leaf's veins.
We decided to use an alphabet chart to write down interesting words about the monarch butterflies.
We also visited the Butterfly house to get a closer look. Little Guy was able to see the different types of chrysalis. Big Sister helped me find a monarch.
On a side note, I need to decide how often I will be writing on this blog. I have been busy planning our next trip (40 days away!), preparing for my Spanish classes, and taking care of our home chores. My plate is quite full at the moment, but I will continue to share as much as I can, and as often as I can.