Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Caterpillars and Butterflies galore

Our interest in Caterpillars and butterflies continues as we have caterpillars turning into chrysalis - yesterday a group of us were able to catch this in motion.....
Eva and Zac are captivated

Ethan too.

Tobias connects the dots  -  he links the process with the photographs we have displayed
.....truly amazing!!

                                                 Cooper is mesmerised

                                                          So is Levi
Finally, the process was finished and the caterpillar skin dropped to the ground.
Earlier that morning we had been examining it's progress so it was very fortuitous that some of us witnessed it, sad for those who had a strong interest in the morning who missed it though, maybe next time.
Erin focused.

Tiana too...and Lila, Zac, Toby

plus Matilda and Lucia.

We also had another 'girl' butterfly emerge....

                                                  Jaiden is enthralled
and Tiana points out an important fact - the butterfly is out!
and Chloe watches closely.

Adele was fascinated, she waited until the crowds had gone then spent a quiet few minutes examining it.
While we waited for the butterfly wings to dry and the caterpillar to prepare for it's change into chrysalis, Kindergarten activities carried on and it was interesting to see the links children made.

                             Chloe made a butterfly and took it over to relate it 

 Ellie came in with some paspalum, "Look, it's like a caterpillar"
So it is!
 I wonder if it will be a boy or a girl?  How do we know?  Chloe knows!! She runs off to find the book to establish the butterfly sex. 

A boy has black spots on it's wings.
                                     Jaiden, Bardia and Lucia look in earnest
Here it is, wonder what it is.....
A ha, it has black spots on it's wing, so it is a BOY!
Lila, Ellie and Jaiden share information

Resources are available to examine and discuss.

Children working on creating butterflies.
Today, another butterfly hatched just before we arrived at kindergarten so this caused a great interest.
As we waited for it's wings to dry children engaged in learning.....

Tiana created a fabulous butterfly, caterpillar and chrysalis screen print
 and the dough table demonstrated a different angle on literacy ....
 ...Ethan made a letter 'C'  I asked what started with that letter, Toby announced "cat".  "Yes, and what over there (pointing to Monarch display) also starts with a 'c'"  and off went the discussion ending with us spelling out the word caterpillar.  Literacy is intermingled throughout our day - this is one example.
Naomi and Lucia joined in too.
Now, it's time to set our butterfly free - it didn't go far.....
                                 Ellie's butterfly dress seemed like a good place to land

 Soon we had our own butterflies fluttering around....
                                      Erin and Lila made beautiful butterflies
                                 "Karen, our towels are our wings, we are butterflies!"

So much to learn through such a simple everyday happening.
Documented by Karen.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Monarch Butterfly takes to the wing

Since coming back to Kindergarten we have new additions - 6 tadpoles and several hungry monarch caterpillars.

This is an opportunity for children to learn how to care for a living creature - with feeding, watering host plants and to observe the development of each living being.

Chloe and Adele on an egg hunt

The caterpillars grow at a rapid rate and voraciously strip the swan plant of leaves.  With magnifying glasses and the naked eye children are able to observe this.

Cameo returns most days to check on the progress of the caterpillars

                                                       Ellie joins in too
The learning is valuable ....
an egg hatches into a teeny, tiny caterpillar which eats it's egg case then begins to devour the plant....
As we await the life cycle process the learning is weaved into Kindergarten life
Lila and Erin create a still life painting

Ellie and Jaihe have a good understanding of the Monarch life cycle and produce some detailed pictures


Darcy completes a spider puzzle
One of the caterpillars does several laps of the pot rim

before finally spinning his web pad so he can hang
It takes most of the day for him to change into a chrysalis.  Sadly, the children had gone home when he moved to the next stage
but what excitement when they discovered the new chrysalis the next morning!
The activities continue as we bide our time waiting for the emerging of the butterfly.  It turns black, then transparent and we know it is not far off.

At last,  our first chrysalis hatches today!
Now to warm it's wings and set it free.....

While we waited we had lots of discussion and observing....the butterfly had no small black dot on it's wing so it was decided it was a girl and after much talk she was named "Autumn".
We chatted about her antennae having rounded knobs on the end and that they are her 'nose', also her feet have taste organs so when she lands on a flower and knows if it is good to eat.
As this chatter went on the butterfly eventually took to the air and after a couple of metres landed on the yellow monkey bars....
...the children quickly followed her.
After a minute or so she took off again...

.....Resting on the sandpit shade cover

This was so exciting, now we have to wait for the next chrysalis....hope it isn't too long!
Documented by Karen.