Saturday, April 21, 2012
learning about butterflies - the butterfly unit
Most readers know that we're unschooling, so there really aren't "units" in our schooling experience. But the big girl, especially, really likes to package her learning. She'll just tell me she wants to learn about X, Y, or Z and then I'll help her figure out how we can learn about it.
That's what happened with our butterfly "unit". She decided on Thursday night that on Friday she wanted to spend some time learning more about butterflies. This isn't the first time she's asked to learn about butterflies, so we really glossed over the introductory sort of information and moved on to camouflage and migration.
We started out by reading some books from our home library. The Magic School Bus Butterfly and the Bog Beast was selected first. This was actually a book that the boy had in his home library. It has a 1996 copyright date in it. The second book chosen was The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. We have two versions of this classic in our home library and had to read both! The first one is a standard hardcover version. Ours has a 1983 copyright date and I'm pretty sure I bought this used for the boy way back when he was little. The second version of The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a board book version. It has exactly the same content, in a smaller form, as the larger hardcover version. We bought the board book for the big girl when she was a toddler.
After we read the books I printed out some butterfly coloring sheets for the girls that I found on TheButterflySite.com. I liked the more realistic coloring sheets.
It works best for us when we insert some more active projects with reading and watching videos or slide shows.
Next we went to Monarch Butterfly Journey North. Learner.org has put together a great unit on the migration and life cycle of the Monarch butterfly. I printed out The Life Cycle of the Monarch Butterfly and The Magic of Monarch Butterfly Migration booklets. While the booklets were printing, we watched the slideshow about Monarch butterfly migration.
Next up was some drawing, cutting, and pasting. I asked the girls to draw their version of a butterfly habitat on sheet of white paper. Then I printed out some vintage butterfly pages from The Sum of All Crafts
After they finished drawing their butterfly habitat they cut out some of the vintage butterflies and glued them into their habitats.
As they were finishing up their butterfly habitat projects the Hubster arrived home. He assembled the booklets and read to the girls while I washed some dishes. :)
- A 40 something mama meandering through life an 8 year old girl (the big girl) who is a ball of lightening and a 5 year old girl (the baby girl) who brightens our lives with her smiles. I'm grounded by my 40 something husband and partner (the hubster) whose quirky mannerisms brighten my days. Our family is rounded out with with an eclectic 21 year old boy-man (the boy) who I hardly ever right about now since he's off starting his own life.
I've been a single mama, married mama, divorced mama, career mama, SAHM, and WAHM. There was a short time of my life when I wasn't a mama, but that was a LONG time ago!
I hold an AA, BS, and MA and most say I'm wasting them by devoting my intellectual capabilities and energy in the nurture of the wee ones that I've been entrusted to raise, but there is nothing else I'd rather be doing these days. :)
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