During the year, the children in ARP1 have been observing change over time in science. They began by noticing changes by season in Woodlanders, then observing the bean cycle in gardening time and most excitedly this term, the butterfly life cycle.
The children were thrilled when a cup of tiny caterpillars arrived in the classroom. They counted them and found there were five inside.
Everyday as the children arrived, their first port of call in the classroom would be to check on the caterpillars!
“Look! They’re getting bigger and bigger. When we had them first, they were tiny and now they’ve eaten their food, they have got soooooo big!” said Viraj.
After they had eaten a lot of food, they crawled to the top of the pot. “They stick themselves to the top of the pot with their silk. It’s a bit like glue!” said George.
After a couple of days hanging at the top of the pot, the caterpillars used their silk to spin it around themselves and create a chrysalis. They also shed their skin as they no longer need it. We had four caterpillars that successfully created their chrysalis.
Logan signed “caterpillar in chrysalis”, “wait” and “4”.
Elliot said “Caterpillars made a chrysalis”.
The transformation from caterpillar to butterfly takes around 7-10 days. We waited patiently checking on them daily. The children noticed that over time, the chrysalis got darker and darker.
“Chrysalis black” signed Carlo.
After waiting so patiently, the children were ecstatic when the first butterflies emerged. The wings were small and curled up. We watched as the butterflies rested whilst they pumped liquid into them to make them bigger and stronger.
Viraj said “they pump fluid into their wings to make them bigger and stronger and ready to fly!”
The children fed them with fruit and flowers and made up some nectar using sugar and warm water. This allowed them to observe them for a few more days before releasing them.
Alfie A enjoyed the process so much, he did some research at home. He proudly told the class “female butterflies have larger wings and male butterflies have spots on the bottom of their wings to tell us that they are males!”
We have really enjoyed watching our caterpillars change into butterflies and watching them fly away to start the process all over again!