GREENWICH The third-grade students at South Central have been learning about the life cycle of a butterfly. With real-life painted lady caterpillars, the third-graders have been observing and discovering the wonders of metamorphosis; the change in habits and body structure certain animals go through during their life cycle. Reading nonfiction texts, doing classifying activities, and completing butterfly projects have supported the students' understanding of a butterfly's life cycle.
The monarch butterfly life cycle project is a third-grade favorite. The students needed to construct and sequence the stages of a butterfly's life using the materials provided for them. Through teacher modeling, the students glued styrofoam pieces to one of their leaves to represent the eggs in the first stage of a butterfly's life. The students arranged yellow and black circles to create a caterpillar on their second leaf, with bites taken out of it, to show the larva or second stage of the life cycle. The third stage displayed, is a wax paper chrysalis (or pupa) containing orange and black streamers, which represent the wings of the changing butterfly. The final stage reveals the adult butterfly emerging from the chrysalis. The third-grade students will continue their study of life cycles by researching animals and their habitats.