B is for Butterfly is such a great topic for preschoolers. This fascinating insect is a popular science lesson, makes for imaginative kids crafts and teaches the second letter of the alphabet, the letter B, too!
Science + Arts 'n Crafts + Reading = Learning Fun!
We have featured butterflies in my preschool classroom several times. This year our live catepillars emerged a week earlier than I had hoped for but we still had the experience of seeing it happen and releasing those lovely creatures into the wild at the end of the day. It was very special.
For our "real" Letter B day, one week later, I used this visual aid to teach the parts of the butterfly to my students - preschool style!
- Body - with a head, thorax and abdomen. Their six-jointed legs are attached to the body.
- Eyes- compound eyes that they see with.
- Proboscis - "mouth" that works like a straw.
- Antennae - they are similar to our tongues. Butterflies "taste" with them.
- Wings- very colorful and, of course, they fly using their wings.
Recognize the 3-D body? It is made from toilet paper rolls. It is easy to make.
- Technical corrections: the word "antennas" should say "antennae." Most preschoolers can't read but when I realized how I had labeled - it all I can say is "ugh!"
- Also, that cute little smiley mouth could be changed into a straw. Yes, they lose their caterpillar mouths. Butterflies have a straw-like "mouth" called a proboscis. For authenticity, the pipe-cleaner can be inserted and bent...or you can tell your kiddos about it and keep the smile.
How To Make A Butterfly Part Visual Aid
Computer with Printer
White school glue
White school glue
3 empty toilet paper rolls
3 colors of construction or copier paper
Cover all three toilet paper rolls with different colored paper and glue it on.
Cut one of them in 1/3 to use as the head.
Glue all three parts, smallest at the top for the head, onto the foam board leaving room for labels.
Glue two pipecleaners on for the antennae.
Glue pom poms on the end of each antenna.
Let it dry.
While it is drying, type up labels on your computer:
Butterfly - Head - Thorax - Abdomen - Wings - Antennae - Eyes
Also print out several arrows.
Print them and cut them out.
Blue them all in the appropriate places.
Glue on googly eyes
Add a pipecleaner mouth*
*Can be a smiley face - they are preschoolers afterall - or do it like a curly proboscis.
**Optional, unless you are a real butterfly! 6 legs can be inserted as well. I was concerned that I would destroy the tp roll so I chose to skip that and tell about it instead.
Using a pencil, outline big wings with designs.
Paint them with tempera paint.
Let them dry.
Put dots of glue on the dry wings and attach glittering gems.
For our lesson, we had the students make their own butterflies using marshmallows to dot the wings and a craft stick for the body. The directions are here, along with a great caterpillar to butterfly video that the children loved!
This butterfly was made by a 3 year old!
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