The word of the day is METAMORPHOSIS!
Every year we order cups of tiny caterpillars for our three-year-old classes and every year I am completely fascinated as we watch them turn into butterflies. This year our caterpillars arrived right before we had to close our school. The teachers have been sending pictures to their classes so they can observe the process. This week the butterflies started to emerge! So now is a perfect time to share one of my very favorite books about metamorphosis, The Caterpillar and the Polliwog by Jack Kent.
Now, do you want to see our caterpillars and butterflies? Before we got them, our caterpillars hatched from teeny eggs that looked like this:
When they arrived, our caterpillars were very tiny. You can barely see them in this cup.
They ate and ate and grew quickly. Soon they were big and fat.
As they grew, our caterpillars molted several times. They shed their skin so they could keep growing!
They molted one last time and then their skin hardened into a shiny chrysalis to protect the caterpillar while it was changing into a butterfly.
About 10 days later, butterflies started to emerge! Aren't our Painted Ladies beautiful?
Can you see how the patterns on the butterfly's wings are the same, but reversed? This is called a mirror image. Here's a fun craft you can try at home that will demonstrate mirror images.
Fold a piece of paper in half and cut out half of a butterfly shape. When you open up the paper, you will have a whole butterfly.
Now squeeze a few dots of paint onto just one side of your butterfly. Fold it back up and press to smoosh the paint around. When you open it you will see that both halves of your butterfly are identical, but mirrored, just like a real butterfly.
Now you can finish your butterfly by adding a body and some antennae.