Kindergarten Scientists Learn the Power of Observation
ODA Students learn about the life cycle with a hands-on approach: watching caterpillars become butterflies. Click for a video of the butterfly release celebration.
Over the course of three weeks, the students in Miss Kathy Humphreys's kindergarten class became scientists, learning to ask questions, make observations and predictions, and record the data of their findings. To enhance their understanding of the life cycle, each student was given a caterpillar to observe and record the daily changes it made in their Butterfly Journals.
"I chose the life cycle of a butterfly so they could truly perform the actions of a scientist," said Miss Humpreys. "Each morning everyone was so excited to check on their caterpillars as they observed the butterfly's metamorphosis."
Alongside the daily observations, the class also learned a fun movement game to help students visualize and kinetically remember the different phases of "egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, and butterfly." They also read the story "The Very Impatient Caterpillar," by Ross Burach, a hilarious tale of a caterpillar who comes out of his chrysalis too soon.
Once the butterflies emerged from their chrysalis and their wings were strong, the class held a butterfly release celebration. The students were initially disappointed that they had to say goodbye to their butterflies, but once they discussed how an important part of their life cycle is to help pollinate flowers all around our school, they were excited to see them fly away!
"I believe having these hands-on science experiences helps to lay the foundation and inspire curious learners, who go on to ask questions about their environment and the world around them," said Miss Humpreys. "It allows for students to make discoveries on their own and to become more independent in their learning and their thoughts."
Looking ahead to their next science lesson, the class will observe the life cycle of a pumpkin by watching their class Jack-o-lantern rot, decompose into the soil, and the seeds regrow into a new pumpkin plant!