We have started to look at minibeasts while covering Spring. They tend to come hand in hand I find. We have come across so many bugs while digging and watering the allotment or playing in the garden.
The boys and I found these fabby life cycle stamps while we were at a Butterfly centre on holiday last year. We haven’t done much stamping in the past but we have done the vegetable printing so the little ones picked up how to use these quite quickly.
Little “R” enjoyed telling me each stage of a Butterflys life and pushing the stamps on to the ink pad. After printing it n the paper, she would inspect the print and comment on if it was a good one or not! She also used our new life cycle figures to match on her picture, for each stage of growth.
We also read the Very Hungry Caterpillar book and used the felt story board to enhance the story.
Little “R” lined all her food up along the board and then up the side. She enjoyed looking for the next item to add to her board and matching it with the picture in the book as I read. She counted the amount needed from the page of the book and then counted out the felt pieces as required!
We changed the Caterpillar that we were using for a bigger one and then to a very fat one to match the pictures in the book. She looked rather confused when we talked about the changing part. I lay the chrysalis over the caterpillar and then lifted both off the board and replaced them with a butterfly. I think she might need to see this happen in real life before she fully understands this process. Once our vegies are growing well, I am sure we will find some cabbage whites to collect and look after. She can then see this happen over a period of time and I am sure it will all make much more sense!
We also watched the DVD of the story which is very sweet!
When little “X” arrived we read the story again and he was very fast at matching the pictures in the book with the felt pieces. His counting in English is now much better and he seems far more willing to join in with counting.
Another day in the week, little “I” joined us. Little “R” showed her how to use the life cycle stamps and the girls worked together, stamping away and talking about each image as they made it. They could identify the eggs, caterpillar, chrysalis and the Butterfly.
We re-told the story and used the story board again. Little “I” worked really hard with her counting and matching and told me that the Caterpillar was hungry and that he was eating everything up!
CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE LEARNING:
Each of the children showed great involvement in this activity. They all wanted to try out the stamps and each of them became fully engaged in the story board and willing to give it a go. The repetitive nature of the story and also the fact that we re-read it several times in the week meant that the learning was being reinforced. Little “R” mixed resources so that she could better understand the process we were learning and she was making her own links and thinking creatively by using the plastic life cycle toys over the top of her ink stamping. The story of the Very Hungry Caterpillar just built on this knowledge further for the children.
The children were really involved and enjoyed taking part in the story telling.