Friday, December 6, 2013

Art & Science: Flutterby Butterfly

“Learn about these marvelous creatures, add a bit of optical illusion, then we'll create our own beautiful butterflies!”
A program looking at the life cycle of butterflies, along with a celebration of individual difference, a spot of sign language, a wild look at the freaky but fascinating five-hundred year old artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo, plus fun craft stations exploring his art, bi-lateral symmetry,  origami, and more. (K-5)

· Background music: George Winston’s “Summer”

· Read: Bob and Otto by Robert O. Bruel or Bubba and Trixie by Lisa Campbell Ernst (both compassionate friends stories dealing with the transition from caterpillar to butterfly.)

· Read: A Butterfly Is Patient by Dianna Hutts Aston

· Sign Language Song "Look Up, Look Down" from Pick Me Up: Fun Songs for Learning Signs.

· Read: If at First You Do Not See by Ruth Brown (clever turn around book, vegetation becomes faces)...inspired by the works of the 16th c. Italian painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo -- kids will adore seeing his amazing paintings -- images online at:
or go to for more links and info.  More ideas also at:

· Stations:
o Symmetry – Cut out a Butterfly, paint one half & fold – bilateral symmetry
o Coffee Filter butterflies (filters, markers, spray bottles)
o Butterfly illusions – create a face using butterflies like Arcimboldo
o Butterfly match game – chrysalis/butterfly matching game (photocopied from A Butterfly is Patient)
o Butterfly life cycle
o Butterfly mask (could also use to make flying butterfly)
o origami butterfly
o other ideas:
Table signs are below:


5.15 - done as a pre-school aged program:
Music playing when  arriving: "Butterfly" (track 9 from Bari Koral Family Rock Band's Anna and the Cupcakes album)
Opened with book: Bob & Otto - Robert Bruel
sign language song: "Let's Take a Walk Outside" from Pick Me Up: Fun Songs for Learning Signs
Shared pictures and some ideas from the book: A Butterfly is Patient - Sylvia Long
Flannel: Color Butterflies (words here:
Shared pages from book: If at First You Do Not See -- Ruth Brown
Action song: Roly Poly Caterpillar (lyrics from same as above)
Pop Up Book: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (finish with flannel chrysallis & reversible caterpillar/butterfly puppet reveal)
Activity -- make wearable butterfly wings (similar idea to the small ones above) using giant coffee filters. Children used washable markers to color them then parents accordion-folded and tied with a pipe cleaner to make body and antennae, threaded yarn thru the pipe cleaner and tied the "wings" to each kid. (Had originally planned to spray water to blend colors and leave outside to dry while making masks but the day wasn't sunny enough to dry them quickly, so instead offered families the option to spray before leaving or take home to spray there.)  Played music from George Winston's album Summer during crafts.
Also had butterfly masks and life cycle drawings available to color.

Dancing: After kids had made crafts, they danced wearing their wings and/or masks and twirling scarves/ribbons as we enjoyed Lois Ehlert's "Waiting for Wings" (on the Weston Woods DVD: Spring Science) followed by "Butterfly" -- track #9 on Bari Koral Family Rock Band's Anna and the Cupcakes and
"Butterfly" -- track #8 on Hap Palmer's Animal Antics.


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