Monday, September 19, 2011

Annotated Bib - Butterfly Life Cycle

This post provides beautifully illustrated books that will grab the attention of children as the life cycle of a butterfly is discussed. All phases of the life cycle from egg to pupa to caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly are captured in these references, including amazing videos of the butterfly's life cycle. The references also provide study materials to encourage active learning by the students, including mobiles of the life cycle and games revolving around the life cycle.

In Virginia, life cycles are found in the Standards of Learning in grades K and 2. The resources in this post are most appropriate for second grade. (SOL and Background Information at end of post.)

Eggs, Legs, Wings: A Butterfly Life Cycle. By Shannon Knudsen. Illus. by Simon Smith. 2011. 24p. Capstone Press, (978-1-4296-6228-4). Gr. 1-2.
This is a sensationally illustrated resembling a graphic novel that describes the phases of the butterfly life cycle. It is easy to read but catching to the eye for young readers.

I’m a Caterpillar. By Jean Marzollo. Illus. by Judith Moffatt. 1997. 30p. Scholastic Inc., (0-590-84779-1) Gr. K-2.
This is a level 1 book using simple words and short sentences to demonstrate the life cycle of a caterpillar to a chrysalis to a butterfly to eggs and back to a caterpillar. The story includes a word list for children and a fluency quiz.

A Monarch Butterfly’s Journey. By Suzanne Slade. Illus. by Susan Swan. 2012. 24p. Picture Window Books, (978-1-4048-6655-3). Gr. 1-3.
A beautifully illustrated book documenting the metamorphosis of a caterpillar to a monarch butterfly. The book also details the migration of the monarch butterfly.

Velma Gratch & the Way Cool Butterfly. By Alan Madison. Illus. by Kevin Hawkes. 2007. 34p. Schwartz & Wade Books, (978-0-375-83597-1). Gr. 2-3.
This gorgeously illustrated and told tale follows Velma as she enters school trying to find her own place, following her two older sisters. She develops a love of butterflies, which leads to a butterfly attaching itself to her until it must follow the other butterflies in migration. The lessons from this are key to this age group while imparting scientific knowledge as well.

Waiting for Wings. By Lois Ehlert. 2001. 36p. Harcourt Inc., (978-0-15-202608-0). Gr. K-2.
A colorful journey from egg to butterfly, with discussion of pollination and vivid descriptions of multiple types of butterflies. It also includes descriptions of the anatomy of a butterfly and various flowers to which butterflies are attracted.

What’s the Difference Between a Butterfly and a Moth? By Robin Kootz. Illus. by Bandelin-Dacey. 2010. 24p. Picture Window Books, (978-1-4048-5543-4). Gr. 1-3. This book is a well-crafted illustration of what distinguishes a moth from a butterfly. It outlines differences from how each go through metamorphosis, to when they appear, color, and body types.

For Kids
Outstanding short video of the life of a monarch butterfly from caterpillar to butterfly.

One page site discussing the metamorphosis of butterflies. It has easy to use language and simple pictures.

For Teachers
Site with extensive discussions and videos regarding metamorphosis. Also includes information on moths as well.

Website from the Academy of Natural Sciences with incredible pictures of multiple species of butterflies and in-depth discussion of the butterfly life cycle.

Excellent site with multiple activities for K-3 on butterfly life cycles.

Virginia Standards of Learning
2.4 The student will investigate and understand that plants and animals undergo a series of orderly changes as they mature and grow. Key concepts include:
a) animal life cycles

Background Information from the Curriculum Framework
  • Throughout their lives, plants and animals undergo a series of orderly and identifiable changes.
  • Changes in organisms over time occur in cycles and differ among the various plants and animals.
  • Some animals, such as mealworms, pill bugs, frogs, and butterflies go through distinct stages as they mature to adults.

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