Butterflies are a common symbol of growth and change — a great classroom theme!
There are some ready-made items for your bulletin board:
- Scholastic’s clever 3-D Butterflies! Bulletin Board
- Mini Bulletin Boards- Butterflies & Moths from North Star
You can also make butterflies from circular coffee filters. Have students loosely gather them in the center with a pipe cleaner, using the ends of the pipe cleaner to form antennae. Drop paint onto one side of the filter. Fold the filter in half and push the sides together to form identical blotches of color on both sides of the coffee filter. Add the butterflies to the bulletin board or hang them from the ceiling.
For preschool, just have the kids dip their hands in non-toxic paint and make handprints on paper. Cut them out roughly and pair them up for butterfly wings with a craft stick or clothespin in the middle.
Add some butterfly books to the class library table:
- Fancy Nancy: Bonjour, Butterfly, by Jane O’Connor
- Monarch Butterfly, by Gail Gibbons, is stuffed with interesting facts.
- Butterfly House, by Eve Bunting, is a touching book.
- Butterfly Battle (The Magic School Bus Chapter Book #16)
- A Butterfly is Patient has particularly beautiful illustrations.
- The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper’s Feast
- An Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden provides an opportunity to follow butterflies through their entire life cycle, up close and personal. When your butterflies hatch, you can let them go, and order another certificate for next time. Re-use the Butterfly Garden.
- The Incredible Journey of the Butterflies is a Nova DVD that follows monarch butterflies through their complex and unusual lifecycle.
- Introduce metamorphosis to young children with Lifecycle Headbands. Give each student a sentence strip. Have the kids fold it into quarters. Go over the butterfly’s lifecycle and have students illustrate each stage. Staple the strips into headbands and have students put them on. Ask them to show you the larvae, the pupa, the chrysalis, and the butterfly by turning the headbands on their heads to put each stage to the front. Tell students to ask their neighbors for help to make sure that they’ve got it right.
- Butterflies are an excellent example for a study of symmetry. McGraw-Hill has a very simple symmetry lesson plan with a butterfly you can copy.
- Puccini’s Madama Butterfly makes beautiful background music while students work.