Storytime - Butterfly Life Cycle

Read "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" and learn about the different steps in the life cycle of a butterfly.

This workshop consists of two parts: a reading of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle followed by the Butterfly Life Cycle hands-on activity. Using some very ordinary items at home, we're going to learn and discuss about the different steps in the life cycle of a butterfly from egg, to caterpillar, to chrysalis / cocoon, to butterfly.

This storytime virtual outreach activity is split into a pre-activity document (i.e., workshop overview and list of materials with preparation instructions for both the volunteer and educator) and PowerPoint presentation with presenter notes to help lead the workshop virtually.

What You Need

For the reading:

  • "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle (see book cover for reference)

For the activity:

  • Paper plate
  • Scrap of green construction paper
  • Small, white pompoms - 3 per child
  • Tissue paper - 2 inch x 3 inch piece of green for the chrysalis, and any other colours you want for your butterfly - cut to 2 inch x 2.5 inch
  • Pipe cleaners - 2-inch piece in black for the butterfly, and any other colours you want for your caterpillar - cut to 6 inches
  • Pencil
  • Black marker or crayon
  • Liquid glue
  • Scissors
  • Small twig from outside
  • Tempera paint - optional

Pre-Activity Document:

PowerPoint:

 

Safety Notes

Ensure you are familiar with Let's Talk Science's precautions with respect to safe delivery of virtual outreach to youth. These precautions can be found in the manual for this activity. 

What To Do

Part A: Reading of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle

Part B: Doing the Activity

Optional: Use tempera paint to paint your paper plate. Let it dry. You can skip this step, we just thought you might like some colour to your craft!

Divide the paper plate in 4 sections and draw 2 lines across the centre of the plate:

Egg Section:

  • Cut out a small leaf from your green construction paper.
  • Draw lines on your leaf with your black marker or crayon.
  • Glue some small, white pompoms onto your leaf to represent the eggs.
  • Glue the leaf and eggs onto the leaf section of your plate.

Caterpillar Section:

  • Choose two different coloured pipe cleaners to use for your caterpillar. Cut the pipe cleaners so they are each 6 inches long.
  • Twist the two pipe cleaners together.
  • Wrap the twisted pipe cleaners around a pencil.
  • Slide it off.
  • Glue your caterpillar onto the caterpillar section of your plate.

Chrysalis Section:

  • Glue a small twig onto the chrysalis section of your plate.
  • To make the chrysalis, cut a piece of tissue paper so it's 2 inches x 3 inches.
  • Twist the top and bottom of the rectangle to form a chrysalis shape.
  • Glue it next to the twig on your paper plate.

Butterfly Section:

  • Choose two colours of tissue paper to use for your butterfly wings. Cut them to 2 inches x 2.5 inches.
  • Stack the pieces of tissue paper together and round the corners with your scissors.
  • Cut a black pipe cleaner so it's 2.5 inches long. Scrunch up the center of both pieces of tissue paper and twist your black pipe cleaner around it.
  • Glue your cute, little butterfly onto the butterfly section of your paper plate.

Discovery

Investigate Further

Older audiences may benefit from more instruction on the life cycle of butterflies and their environmental/nutritional preferences.

Investigate Further

Older audiences may benefit from more instruction on the life cycle of butterflies and their environmental/nutritional preferences.

Resources

Check out additional resources (articles, career profiles and more) on these topics from Let’s Talk Science: