Observing Life Cycle Changes in Butterflies

by Connie LoBello


We did insects and now we are narrowing down our investigation to Butterflies. Students are fascinated about how a caterpillar becomes a cocoon and then becomes a butterfly. We will get cocoons (about five) and take note of the different developmental stages as they occur over time.

What We Thought We Knew

On 3-17-97, the class was divided into three groups, each group was given one of these questions to answer.

What do we know about caterpillars (Group One)?

What do we know about cocoons (Group Two)?

What do we know about butterflies (Group Three)?

Questions We Had

Mrs. LoBello asked, "What is the best way to observe the changes? How can we as a class chart the changes we observe?"

Group one was: Nicole, Laura, Demetrius, Eric, Michael, and David K.

Group two was: Reymundo, Chris Scott, Shameka, Johnny

Group three was: Jeb, David, Lewis, Carcy, James, Daniel.

What We Found Out from Books

The cocoons came from a Drago-Newton Teacher Supplies catalog. We will do additional research on the internet to find out optimal conditions for keeping cocoons.

What We Found Out from Experimentation

This experiment will start the second week in April, the week after spring break, when the cocoons come.

How We Showed We Had Learned

We intend to do some charting and graphing of the changes we see. Perhaps students will keep written journals of their daily observations, along with the date and any impresssions they have. The students have done journal writing, every day they already keep journals so this is a natural activity for the class. We will also will be taking pictures of the more dramatic changes we see as they occur, to include visual images in our project.