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First Grade Lesson Plans


Lesson Title: From Egg to Butterfly!
Created and Submitted by: Christina Ibarra
School Name: Kennedy Zapata Elementary
District: United ISD
Role: School Librarian 


Grade Level: 1st Grade


Lesson Plan Objectives:
At the end of this lesson, students will be able to:
1. Make predictions on how a caterpillar will change.
2. Use clues in illustrations and print to illustrate and write about the life cycle events in sequence.


§110.12.b. (14) (C) retell the order of events in a text by referring to the words and/or illustrations.


Other Content Area(s) Addressed: 1st Grade Science
(10) Organisms and environments. The student knows that organisms resemble their parents and have structures and processes that help them survive within their environments. The student is expected to:
(D) observe and record life cycles of animals such as a chicken, frog, or fish.


Standards for the 21st-Century Learner Indicators:
1.1.2 Use prior and background knowledge as context for new learning.
2.1.2 Organize knowledge so that it is useful.
4.1.8 Use creative and artistic formats to express personal learning.


Classroom Teacher – School Librarian(s) Collaboration:
• Classroom teacher and school librarian design flowchart tool together.
• Educators create an interactive lifecycle of a butterfly chart, which they will use to correctly place in sequence and label.
• School librarian gathers multiple copies of The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle through interlibrary loan.
• Both educators collaborate and model how to correctly fill out the flowchart depicting the stages of the life cycle of a butterfly.
• Both educators monitor the students’ guided practice and assess the student learning outcomes by reviewing the students’ flowcharts.


Measurable Outcome or Final Product: Students will view a video, listen to a picture book, complete a Life Cycle of a Butterfly flowchart, work with a group to complete an interactive chart, and create a model of the life cycle of a butterfly (for extension).


Assessment Tools: Life Cycle of a Butterfly Flowchart, Life Cycle of a Butterfly Interactive Chart, and Paper Plate Models (for extension)


• Brain Pop Jr. Video “Butterflies” (This requires a subscription.) http://www.brainpopjr.com/science/animals/butterflies
• For educators who do not have access to Brain Pop, use Mr. R.’s “Butterfly Life Cycle (metamorphosis) Song” on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YVqHnw0W-Q
• The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (Philomel 1987) - Multiple copies are needed to divide students into groups of four.
• Life Cycle of a Butterfly Flowchart
• Life Cycle of a Butterfly Interactive Chart (See photograph. This teacher-made board was created with craft materials. Students will be able to remove pieces and arrange them in the proper place.)
• Paper Plate Models - For extension (See examples.)


Estimated Lesson Time: 45 minutes


Instructional Plan Outline/Implementation Steps:


• Educators divide the students into groups of four.
• They distribute the Life cycle of a Butterfly Flowchart to each student and a copy of Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar to each group.


1. Educators post and review the lessons objectives.
2. Educators introduce the words “life cycle” and ask students if they know what this word means. After their responses, both educators will take turns saying that a life cycle explains how living things grow and change.
3. They explain that humans go through a cycle as well. Educators will display different pictures of actual humans during the different stages in life. Ex: baby, toddler, child, teenager, and so on.
4. Educators then explain that animals have life cycles, too. Butterflies go through a life cycle process before they blossom into beautiful butterflies.
5. Educators share a video on Brain Pop Jr. that relates facts about butterflies and their life cycle: http://www.brainpopjr.com/science/animals/butterflies/
For educators who do not have access to Brain Pop, use Mr. R.’s “Butterfly Life Cycle (metamorphosis) Song” on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YVqHnw0W-Q


6. Educators introduce the mentor text The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Students will read along with the teachers.
7. As they are reading the text, educators stop after each stage and explain to the students the events.
8. Educators explain that a butterfly begins life as an egg. A tiny caterpillar, or larva, hatches from the egg then it eats and grows. When it stops eating, the caterpillar becomes a pupa and makes a hard covering. It slowly changes until finally, a beautiful butterfly comes out and flies away.
9. Educators then model the four stages on the Interactive Life Cycle of a Butterfly Chart.


Guided Practice:
10. Educators monitor and observe students’ practice as they collaborate and work in teams as they assemble the interactive chart on their own.
11. Educators monitor for following the procedure, correct sequence and labeling of stages, and effective description of stages on the Life Cycle of a Butterfly Flowchart.


12. Educators ask, “How did the caterpillar change as it grew?”
13. Educators say, “Let’s look at the picture of the caterpillar on the 2nd stage, what body parts do you see on the caterpillar and how do these body parts help it meet its needs?”
14. Students share their responses verbally or in writing.


15. The educators review and assess the students’ life cycle of a butterfly flowcharts.
16. They determine if the whole class, small groups, or individual students need to follow up with a similar lesson.


17. Students create their Paper Plate models in the classroom; the classroom teacher will assess this work.
18. Students divide paper plate into four equal parts and will generate, label, and place in correct sequence the four stages using various craft materials such as: construction paper, felt, pompoms, tissue paper, and more. Students will also write a short sentence describing the events occurring in each stage.
19. Students write a letter to a friend describing the four stages of a butterfly’s life cycle. They also state the importance of understanding the process of life cycles and how it applies to people as well as animals.


Lesson Plan Resources


Life Cycle of a Butterfly Flowchart

Life Cycle of a Butterfly Interactive Chart Photograph

Paper Plate Model Examples Photographs

ELAR_1_14_C Lesson Plan (.pdf)



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