K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education


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Related pages

  • Butterfly metamorphosis: This is an integrated lesson which is introduced using the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Butterfly metamorphosis is explored through art, math, and writing.
  • Butterfly cycle: Students will understand the life cycle of the butterfly and create various art activities that would model metamorphosis.
  • Classifying transportation objects: In this lesson the students will sort, classify, and label transportation items by various attributes.

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Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • write a story about a butterfly or the process of a caterpillar changing into a butterfly.
  • sort by a given attribute and put data on a graph. Then they will count and write the number.
  • name the days of the week.
  • be able to retell the story by working together to make a mural of The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
  • demonstrate how to use Kids Pix Studio to do their writing and drawings.
  • use their observation skills to watch a larvae change into a butterfly.
  • make a butterfly using their fine motor skills and creativity.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

1 week


Language Arts

  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar book by Eric Carle.
  • Sock that is made into a caterpillar and foods cut out that the caterpillar ate.
  • Bulletin board paper for mural.
  • Sheet made -The Very Hungry Caterpillar ate through ______ ________.


  • Butterflies of different colors cut out from the dye cut machine.
  • Graph for children to record answer. Put on the graph the colors you choose to use.
  • Class Graph made-Would You Like To Be a Butterfly? (Yes, No)


  • Pictures of the different stages of a butterfly.
  • Larvae that you can order to have a butterfly garden in your classroom.
  • Pasta that is dyed-(green, spiral), (natural color, sea shell), (red, bow tie), small sticks or brown construction paper, paper plates, small white pom poms


  • paper plate
  • variety of different colored paints
  • construction paper

Technology resources

  • Internet Access
  • Kids Pix Studio or other related program for writing and drawing.
  • Printer for printing childrens’ work and information off the Internet.
  • VCR
  • “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” Video


  • Review the days of the week.
  • Review how to use Kids Pix Studio to write and draw.
  • Review sorting by a given attribute.
  • Review graphing.


Language Arts

  1. Read The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Discuss the story. Talk about the days of the week and what the caterpillar ate.
  2. The students will make a mural. Give each child a different page in the story to draw. Glue pictures in sequential order as events happened in the book. As you glue the pictures, write a short summary of what happened on that page. (Put it in simple terms so that the children can go back and read the mural together.)
  3. Writing Activity-The children will fill in the missing words and illustrate what they wrote. The Very Hungry Caterpillar ate through _________ _____________.
    Ex: The Very Hungry Caterpillar ate through one apple.
  4. Do a Venn diagram comparing and contrasting butterflies and moths.


  1. Use the butterflies that you cut from the dye cut. Have the students sort their butterflies by their color. Then they are to use the graph to graph how many they have of each color and write the number beside the color word.
  2. Class Graph-Would You Like To Be a Butterfly? (Yes, No)
  3. Have the children recite the days of the week in order.


  1. Discuss the life cycle of a butterfly. Show illustrations of the different stages.
  2. Show the different stages of the butterfly using pasta. Take a paper plate and divide it into four sections. Number the sections 1, 2, 3, and 4. In box number 1 make a green leaf and glue a white pom pom on the leaf. In box 2 glue the green spiral pasta to represent the caterpillar. In box 3 glue the sea shell pasta on a tree branch. (You may use a small stick or let the children cut out brown construction paper sticks.) In box 4, glue red bow tie pasta that represents a butterfly.
  3. Observe the different stages of the larvae turning into a butterfly. Discuss the different stages as they happen.


  1. Research information about butterflies on the Internet.
  2. Using Kids Pix Studio, write and illustrate a story about butterflies.
  3. Show the video “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”.


Make a butterfly out of a paper plate. The students need to cut on the line. Then they put dabs of paint on one side of the plate. Take the plate and fold. Press down on the plate so the paint will go on the other side. Have the children cut out a body with antennae and glue in the middle of the plate.


Students’ work
Verbal feedback
NCSCOS objectives
Teacher Observation

Supplemental information


These are good activities to do when you are teaching about butterflies and insects. In the spring is a good time to teach about insects.
You may use the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar when you are teaching about nutrition as well.

  • Common Core State Standards
    • English Language Arts (2010)
      • Reading: Literature

        • Grade 1
          • 1.RL.2 Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.
        • Kindergarten
          • K.RL.2 With prompting and support, retell familiar stories, including key details.

    • Mathematics (2010)
      • Kindergarten

        • Measurement & Data
          • K.MD.3Classify objects into given categories; count the numbers of objects in each category and sort the categories by count.1

  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Science (2010)
      • Grade 2

        • 2.L.1 Understand animal life cycles. 2.L.1.1 Summarize the life cycle of animals: Birth Developing into an adult Reproducing Aging and death 2.L.1.2 Compare life cycles of different animals such as, but not limited to, mealworms, ladybugs, crickets, guppies...
      • Kindergarten

        • K.L.1 Compare characteristics of animals that make them alike and different from other animals and nonliving things. K.L.1.1 Compare different types of the same animal (i.e. different types of dogs, different types of cats, etc.) to determine individual differences...

North Carolina curriculum alignment

English Language Arts (2004)


  • Goal 2: The learner will develop and apply strategies and skills to comprehend text that is read, heard, and viewed.
    • Objective 2.01: Demonstrate sense of story (e.g., beginning, middle, end, characters, details).
  • Goal 4: The learner will apply strategies and skills to create oral, written, and visual texts.
    • Objective 4.06: Write and/or participate in writing behaviors by using authors' models of language.

Mathematics (2004)


  • Goal 5: Algebra - The learner will model simple patterns and sort objects.
    • Objective 5.01: Sort and classify objects by one attribute.