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Teacher Grants: TeachNet Power to Learn

Peter the Butterfly

Peter the Butterfly is an interdisciplinary unit on caterpillars and butterflies. Students enhance their reading and mathematical skills in symmetry; observe and discuss the stages of a butterfly; enhance their creative thinking and map skills; and identify cardinal directions. The students read The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, recall information from the story, learn about a butterfly’s wings, draw a symmetrical wing on paper and then on either KidPix or Kidspiration software, learn about the life cycle of a butterfly, create a life cycle of a butterfly at an art center, play online interactive butterfly games, and learn about the Fall migration of a Monarch butterfly.

Subject Area
Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Technology and Art

Grade Levels
1-2

Objectives
Students will be able to recall information; draw a symmetry butterfly; demonstrate observations of symmetrical wings on butterflies; identify all four stages of the life cycle of a butterfly; identify where butterflies in North America travel; and navigate through a variety of online butterfly games..

Internet Used
The majority of the Webquest unit requires students and their partners to navigate through designated websites and perform a multitude of tasks such as research, interactive games, interactive recalling of information, art projects, and math symmetry. Through this, students perform tasks that are aligned with the stated standards below.

Materials Used
Required materials include a computer with Internet access, a printer, KidPix or Kidspiration Software, the books The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle and Roly Poly Caterpillar by Barbara Ann Novelli, teacher-created worksheets, silk butterflies, photographs of butterflies, a symmetrical butterfly worksheet, a large map of the United States, a toilet-paper tube, a tongue depressor or ice-cream pop stick, heavy paper, a 6" (150 mm) piece of pipe cleaner, markers or crayons, scissors, and glue.

Standards Addressed
Students select and use strategies they have been taught for note-taking, organizing, and categorizing information; ask specific questions to clarify and extend meaning; make appropriate and effective use of strategies to construct meaning from print; observe basic writing conventions; read aloud accurately and fluently, using phonics and context cues to determine pronunciation and meaning; take turns speaking and responding to other’s ideas in conversations on familiar topics; use the computer as a tool for generating and drawing ideas; use simple logical reasoning to develop conclusions; ask “why” questions to seek greater understanding concerning objects and events; describe the major stages in the life cycles of selected plants and animals; experiment and create art works in a variety of mediums; and use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of the geography of the interdependent world in which they live--local, national, and global.

Assessment
Students are assessed from a variety of teacher-student rubrics, one-on-one conferences, and a partner rubric.

Students Involved
This unit is suitable for a diverse population of students in grades 1-2. The only requirement is that students must have the ability to read and click on directed areas. Students are paired in groups to complement each of their skills to ensure a successful Webquest experience.

Teacher Tips
Go through Webquest as if you were a student to get an understanding of what they will be experiencing. Make sure you have all of the necessary materials including books and poems. Check that all websites are fully functioning before you start each lesson. This unit will take between 2-3 weeks.

Overall Value
The overall value of this unit is twofold. First, students gain a deeper understanding of the Internet, its informational capabilities, and how to navigate effectively through it. Secondly, teachers will want to adapt it for their classes as it ties in a multitude of disciplines such as Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Technology, and Art.

Jennifer Meschi

Jennifer Meschi is the Technology Integration Specialist for Frank J. Carasiti Elementary School in Rocky Point. She earned an Advanced Masters Certificate in Educational Computing in addition to her Master’s Degree from Stony Brook University.

In her current role, Jennifer provides teachers the resources to effectively integrate technology into their curriculums. Through staff development she has helped to increase the staff’s proficiency of the available applications and hardware. In addition, Jennifer works directly with the students teaching technology-based lessons in her classroom as well as by pushing-in. Finally, she provides basic trouble shooting to help keep the tools running properly and smoothly.

 

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