Today was the last day of our butterfly theme week and what a fun week it has been! As usual the children surprised me with how much of the material they were able to grasp.
We made our first real attempt at a lapbook. [We played around with an "all about me" lapbook last month but that was just utter garbage.] We are really quite pleased with how this lapbook turned out.
The cover of the lapbook is a simple hand-drawn connect the dot page I made for them to finish and color in.
Inside the lapbook there are a few books, the text of a song we learned about butterfly life cycles, and a few simple games.
I really wanted to make everything the same for Tink and LittleMan since they only just recently met and started learning together so soon after meeting. This was especially difficult because a 1 year age difference can mean quite the learning gap. Tink (3) is still shaky on colors and just started learning letter recognition whereas LittleMan (4) can spell and write his own name, knows all the letters and their phonetic sounds, and has been solid on colors for nearly 2 years.
There were some activities that were review for LittleMan but new to Tink, others that were new to LittleMan but Tink couldn’t quite grasp them. Still I tried to keep everything fun for everyone. For example, while using crayon resist art and scented watercolors to teach LittleMan about symmetry, Tink got to talk about the color red and how strawberries smell. And the review activities turned out to be an excellent way for LittleMan to practice patience as I enlisted his help in tutoring and encouraging his new friend.
One of the games I made was this mini clothes pin letter/color match. There is a velcro dot under the brown flower center so it can be removed from the lap book easily. Each petal on the flower is a different color (red/orange/yellow/green/blue/purple) and has a lower-case letter from the child’s name. The clothes pins have small paper butterflies I have glued onto them. Each butterfly is a different color and the upper-case letters on the butterfly correspond with the letters on the flower petals. For example, the red flower petal has a lower-case “n,” the red butterfly has an upper-case “N.”
Under this game there is a baggie of counters. I dyed bow-tie pasta to make rainbow butterfly shaped counters: 1 red, 2 orange, 3 yellow, etc..
In the center portion there is a booklet we colored in about the butterfly life cycle, and under that booklet we hid a baggie of butterfly life cycle nomenclature cards.
Under the butterfly life cycle booklet and cards we have another name game. For this one I cut a strip of a green paint swatch and taped it down as a guide. Above the strip I put velcro dots. Each velcro dot holds one segment of a green paper caterpillar, each segment being a circle cut from the paint swatch and each segment having a letter of the child’s name written on it. On one side I drew a red circle with a happy face and antenna to make the caterpillar’s head.
Under this name game we have a small square card on which is a watered down definition of symmetry. I drew half of a butterfly in pen so it was visable beforehand, the other half appeared as the children painted with scented watercolor paints (drawn on with white crayon). As I said before, this gave me an opportunity to talk with LittleMan about the concept of symmetry as well as an opportunity to talk with Tink about fruity smells and the color red.
Next to the symmetry definition card is a little booklet on color mixing. This book features the finished results of the children’s art project which I posted about earlier this week. Each page has one butterfly showing one color combination: red+yellow=orange, yellow+blue=green, and blue+red=purple.
On the last flap I simply wrote out the song we learned earlier this week to the tune of Up On the Roof Top, “First comes a butterfly who lays an egg, Out comes a caterpillar with many legs, Oh see the caterpillar spin and spin a little chrysalis to sleep in, Oh oh oh look and see, Oh oh oh look and see, Out of the chrysalis my oh my, Out comes a pretty butterfly!”
Under the song is a simple hand written mini book the kids colored in, each page detailing something butterflies need: food, habitat, water, air, and the last page talks about what caterpillars eat because their diet is different from butterflies.
On the back of the lapbook is a baggie with butterfly anatomy nomenclature cards from Liat’s Montessori. We didn’t get to work with these as much as I was hoping we would but LittleMan still seemed to understand most of what we did go over with them.
We had alot of fun putting together these lap books, the children really seemed proud of them when we finished. I doubt lap books will be something we do every theme week but they sure do seem like a fun way to pull everything together at the end of a unit.