Butterfly Life Cycle
Grade Level: Preschool Education, Kindergarten, 1
Description: This activity can be used as part of a butterfly
unit. Students make colorful butterfly models which display the
stages in a butterfly's life.
Goals: California State Standards :
Life Sciences Standard (Kindergarten) 2c: Students know how to
identify major structures of common plants and animals (e.g., stems,
leaves, roots, arms, wings, legs).
Reading Standard (Kindergarten) 1.18: Students will be able to describe
common objects and events in both general and specific language.
Students will be able to identify the stages in a butterfly's life
Students will be able to create a butterfly model, arranging the
stages of a butterfly's life cycle in the correct order.
Materials: (for each student)
12 x 18 sheet of white construction paper
pipe cleaner (for antennae and caterpillar)
3" x 3' strip of brown butcher paper- rounded at the ends (students
may do or the teacher)
four 3 x 8 1/2" sheets of white paper with writing lines
8" piece of masking tape (to roll into a chrysalis)
popcorn kernel (to represent an egg)
Butterfly Diagram in .pdf format; requires free Adobe
First students will make the butterfly. Fold the piece of white
construction paper in half. Open it back up and on half of the paper
have a student drip different colors of tempera paint -- starting
by the fold. After colors have been dripped, fold the paper back
together and starting at the center of the fold, smooth the paper
towards the two outer corners. Open the paper to see the butterfly
design. Let the paint dry. Once the paint is dry the butterfly needs
to be cut out. If the shape looks like a butterfly, you can have
students cut around the paint to make the butterfly. If the shape
doesn't, then you may make a stencil for students to trace around
on the folded sheet so the butterfly is symmetrical.
After the butterfly has been cut out, the student will glue the
strip of brown butcher paper to the front of the butterfly in the
center to make the butterfly body. (The bottom part of the strip
is where they will put the other stages of the life cycle.) Have
the students use the marker to draw a face on their butterfly. While
that dries, have students write the different stages of the butterfly's
life cycle on the pieces of paper with writing lines. (Egg, Caterpillar,
Chrysalis, Butterfly) These will need to be written on the board
or a place where students may copy them down. If students aren't
writing on their own yet, write the words with dotted letters for
the students to trace. Next, students will glue the stage words
on the strip of brown butcher paper, starting at the bottom with
the egg and working their way up until they label the butterfly
at the top. Have them add the popcorn on the egg strip, a bent pipe
cleaner on the caterpillar strip, and the rolled up masking tape
on the chrysalis strip, to show "examples" of each stage.
If you want you may add pipe cleaner antennae to the butterfly to
finish it off.
Assessment: Check to see that each student has placed the
names of the stages in the correct order on their butterfly models.