Saturday, July 28, 2012

Bananapillars!

Last school year, we covered various life cycles right near the end of the year. Since summer was right around the corner I absolutely had to ensure that my lessons were extra engaging! I chose the butterfly's life cycle for the extra activities. We made the ever-so-popular life cycle models using pasta. This was a big hit with my 4th graders!!

This activity fell in the middle of our life cycle unit, so the kids already had quite a bit of background knowledge about life cycles (not to mention what they bring in from previous grade levels). I began by giving them the plate, paper, pasta and leaf and told them that we were going to model the life cycle of a particular being, but didn't tell them which one. The groups of students studied the materials, discussed it, and eventually figured out that it was the butterfly's life cycle. This sparked some great discussion and thinking in them! They were so happy once they figured it out.

 Note that the above one says "Life Cycle of Pasta". {le sigh...}


Much better!! ;)

After we finished the above activity, I decided to continue the fun and have the kids make "bananapillars".

Again, I gave the students all of the materials (banana, 2 raisins, and a few pretzel sticks) at the start and told them that we were going to make a model of one particular stage of the butterfly's life cycle. All together, they figured out that it had to be a caterpillar because of the shape of the banana. Then, they told me how it should be constructed (and they were right!). This was also a big hit!

Note to self (and the reader, for that matter): Don't forget your regular popsicle sticks at home so the kids don't have to use the colored sticks that bleed all over the banana. Lol.



And here is my model of the project:

The final thing we did was learn and sing the "Butterfly Life Cycle Song". Yep, 4th graders! They ate it up. I did this activity with Head Start kids a few years ago and my 4th graders enjoyed it just as much as the Head Start kids did (if not MORE!). 

Head over to one of my stores to get a free copy of this activity, song, and life cycle template. (The template includes 4-stage and 5-stage life cycles.)










11 comments:

  1. The bananapillars are adorable! Thank you for sharing this great idea. =)


    Heather
    Heather's Heart

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  2. This is awesome!! Love it! Thank you for posting this :)

    Mallory

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  3. I've seen this activity before but hesitated using it with my 3rd graders. I figured they would think they were too old. Good to know they will enjoy it. Thanks for sharing.

    Kristi
    Learning's a Hoot

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    1. Good! I'll bet yours will love it too!

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  4. Some kids get confused don't they? LOL!

    Very cute and engaging!

    Shannon
    http://www.irunreadteach.wordpress.com

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  5. So cute! Thanks for the freebie!

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