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In 4 weeks, there will be butterflies in Room 6! Mrs. Best brought butterfly eggs to school. Tiny caterpillars hatched out of them. The kindergarteners gave the caterpillars food and watched them GROW...and GROW...and GROW....until finally they became chrysalises. Now butterflies are growing inside. The children watch and wait. When will the butterflies come out?

Follow a classroom of kindergartners as they participate in a popular activity: raising butterflies. This photo essay follows the process of metamorphosis from a tiny egg, to caterpillar, to chrysalis, and finally to the emergence of the adult butterfly. Children observe each stage up close as they learn firsthand about a butterfly's life cycle. Then, when the butterflies are a few days old, the children release them in the school garden.

Simple text and close-up photographs tell the story. Back matter includes answers to questions about butterflies, vocabulary, links to butterfles online and further reading about butterflies.

Raising butterflies from caterpillars is a popular project at home and in school, with supplies easily available on the internet or at many museums and nature centers. The book includes scientific information that is written at a level understandable to young children. It is ideal to use with STEM or STEAM curriculums.

Curriculum Links
  • Language Arts: comprehension strategy--compare and contrast, main idea/details strategy, cause and effect relationships
  • Science: Life science--animal growth and development

  • Children's Projects

    Time Line: How long does it take for a butterfly to grow? Make a time line of a butterfly's development from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to adult butterfly.

    Pasta and Paper Plate Butterfly Life Cycle:

    butterfly pasta

    You will need: A paper plate; 4 types of pasta: bulgar for eggs; ziti for the caterpillar; shells for the chrysalis; and bowties for the butterfly; glue; markers, paint or crayons

    Directions:Make an X across the paper plate to divide it into four sections. Label each section with a butterfly stage: egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, butterfly. Glue the appropriate pasta in each section. Draw or paint leaves. Color the pasta if desired.

    A Butterfly's Wings are Symmetrical: Paint your own large paper butterfly wings making the colors match on each side.

    butterfly symmetry
    Related Books by Caroline Arnold
  • In A Warmer World find out how Edith's checkerspot butterflies are impacted by climate change.
  • In Animals That Migrate learn about the migration of monarch butterflies.
  • Reviews

    Check here later for reviews
    Book notes

    Several years ago, when I was doing an author visit at a school in Los Angeles, I met Jennifer Best, a kindergarten teacher. Each spring, her students learn about life cycles. Two years ago I spent time in her classroom while they were hatching chicken eggs in an incubator. That resulted in my book Hatching Chicks in Room 6. At the same time, the class was also raising Painted Lady butterflies from caterpillars, watching the caterpillars grow in a jar, turn into chrysalises, and, after a week or so, emerge as beautiful butterflies. It seemed like the perfect sequel to Hatching Chicks in Room 6.

    As with the book about chicks, I realized that the best way to tell this story was with photographs. I had taken photographs for some of my other books, so I decided to do it myself. I embedded myself in Jennifer Best’s classroom, which enabled me to follow the process and get the photos I needed. (A challenge in taking the photographs was that neither the children nor butterflies stayed still for long!) Spending so much time in the classroom also allowed me to interact with the kindergarten students, which helped me to target my text at the right level. The children’s enthusiasm was contagious as they learned about butterflies and had the thrill of releasing them outdoors and watch them fly into the neighborhood. I am extremely grateful to Jennifer Best for her cheerful cooperation in this project and for being my expert reader. I couldn’t have done this book without her.