Thursday, June 30, 2016

Super Summer Science - Butterflies

The summer slide - it's a fact of life. Over the summer kids lose some of their newly learned skills.  We all know the phrase use it or lose it, well that's what happens when summer takes over - skills aren't used and they're lost, or at least are left trailing behind.  It's easy to indulge in all the fun summer brings.  Here at Camp Homeschool we've been fishing, swimming, boating, grilling out, gardening, trampolining, BMX and motocross biking, bowfishing, horseback riding...and more.  The activity level is mind blowing, yet the summer slide still happens.  Handwriting skills, reading fluency, math facts - pushed aside leaving room for all things summery and happy.

What if the summer slide could be com-batted with a little trickery on your part?  This summer I've decided to use the Cat in the Hat Learning Library books to infuse a little summery, happy learning into our days.  It's so easy to excite the kids with science, especially in the summer, and especially when it revolves around butterflies.  The first book in my Super Summer Science plan is:

At this point, I'm mainly concerned with Joseph.  The effort required for mastering skills is mind-blowing so I really don't want those new skills to slide away this summer.  I made a list of skills I want to keep fresh.

Reading/Listening Skills
Cutting - Motor skills

Then I thought about a simple structure for our science time.

Read, Review, Eat, Explore


 First we cuddled on the couch and read My, oh My--A butterfly!


 I used this free printable for coloring practice and recognizing colors and shapes.

 Teaching symmetry is perfect in a butterfly unit.  I used this free printable, folded it in half, gave the boys paint and q-tips and instructed them to paint on only half.  Then we folded the blank half over the painted half to reveal a symmetrical butterfly.

Joseph wasn't satisfied with a perfectly symmetrical butterfly and ended up painting more dots on the wings.

Using this free printable, we reviewed the life cycle of a butterfly.  This turned out to be Joe's favorite activity.  He even read it to me before I reviewed it with him.  I was astonished.

After cleaning up, we ate a quick little snack of pretzel twists.  I encouraged them to arrange them on the table to look like butterfly wings.  They had fun and it turned into a what other animal can you make game.
Then for the EXPLORE time we headed outdoors and watched butterflies flit to and fro on the hot gravel driveway.  It was the perfect butterfly watching day.  The boys chased them, trying to catch the butterflies.  We also went searching under leaves for eggs.  It wasn't fruitful, but they had a good time.

It turned out to be the perfect Super Summer Science for Joseph and Peter.  Up next:

We'll focus on frogs.  But before I sign off with this post, here's a short video of Joe reading the butterfly life cycle book.