Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Butterfly Themed Book Bag

Our local library has "book bags" that we can borrow that contain several books on a single topic. I noticed there was a butterfly themed book bag that included The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which is a favorite in our house, so we checked it out and my creative juices started flowing thinking of butterfly activities we could do.

The bag included:
The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle
From Caterpillar to Butterfly by Deborah Heiligman
Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert
The video, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and other stories.
A stuffed animal caterpillar/butterfly that contained a tummy full of the foods that the caterpillar eats in the story, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.


First we read, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and used the stuffed animal to act out the story. Jack LOVED this little butterfly toy! As I read the story aloud he was able to stuff the apple, the orange, the cake, and all the other foods into the caterpillar's tummy.

After reading this story, we watched the video which included, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Papa, Please Get the Moon For Me, The Very Quiet Cricket, The Mixed-Up Chameleon, and I See A Song. Eric Carle's illustrations come to life in the video adaptation of these stories. They are just beautiful! If you are not familiar with his work, Eric Carle uses collage to create his amazing picture books. Here are some other Eric Carle activities we've done in the past. 






Next, we read the book, From Caterpillar to Butterfly, which explains the life cycle of a butterfly, and we discussed the meanings of the terms used in the book, such as metamorphosis, molting, and chrysalis. Then we read Waiting for Wings. Author/illustrator Lois Ehlert also uses collage to create her beautiful children's books. This story illustrates the change of caterpillar into butterfly, and then it gives examples of different types of butterflies and where you might find them.

After reading our stories and watching the movie, we started on some projects. Our first was a simple paper plate butterfly. I had Jack color a plate with crayons, then I cut the plate to form the butterfly's wings. Then Jack glued on the body and the antennae that I had cut from black construction paper.






The second butterfly project started with making a caterpillar. We glued small puff balls onto a popsicle stick. Then, while that was drying we decorated the wings. We used heart shaped doilies and colored them with dot paint sticks. Finally, we glued the wings onto the back of the popsicle stick. Voila!  A beautiful butterfly!









We've been having fun with our hungry caterpillar theme all week. I created a picture shopping list and we went to the grocery store to buy the items the caterpillar ate in the story. Jack had to search through the produce department to find one apple, two pears, three plums, four (a pint) of strawberries, and five oranges. Then I let him choose one item from the foods the caterpillar ate on Saturday. Jack chose the ice cream. Boy...he is definitely my son! He loved having the responsibility of holding the list, finding the items in the store, putting them on the checkout belt, and paying for the groceries. 



When we got home we made a hungry caterpillar fruit salad with all of the items. I let him practice cutting the strawberries with the butter knife. Then we also used some grapes to make a little caterpillar. We used a grape tomato for the head and a dollop of yogurt and some raisins to make the caterpillar's face. 







Next, we decided to try to make some artwork like Eric Carle's. We drew shapes, the letter J and the letter S, on paper. Then painted on watered down glue and attached some tissue paper. Once it dried we cut it out and glued it onto construction paper. I also made a little caterpillar in the same way to show Jack how Eric Carle might have done it when he was writing his books.  







Finally, I asked Jack to tell a story about what the butterfly in the story does next after his big change from a caterpillar. We did it orally, but an older child could create a picture or small book that tells their story.

Our butterfly activity week  is over! We loved the book bag inspiration and we are looking forward to the next big theme!