Beginning Our Unit....Caterpillar's & Butterflies

By Wendy

June 2, 1997

 Caterpillar's & Butterflies
 "A 5 Year Olds Observations on Metamorphosis"
 June 2, 1997
 Today we are going to begin an exciting new unit about caterpillar's and 
 butterflies. In order to do this, I have ordered butterfly larva from the
 Carolina Biological Supply Company. This will enable us to observe cater-
 pilar's going through metamorphosis. We will be setting up a 10 gallon
 aquarium with a screened lid to place the chrysalides in so that they will 
 have a place to hatch.
 Today we will begin our lesson by talking about pairs and about insects.
 We will start by defining what a pair of something is & by giving an example.
 Then Katie & I will look for examples of pairs. We are doing this so that she 
 can understand the concept of a pair of wings, for example. 
 We continued by talking about the things we already know about caterpillar's.
 As we study our unit we will be able to find out if the things we know now are 
 truely facts about these creatures, or are they just what we have come to think.
 ***(Throughout our entries and lessons Katie is asked questions many times, or 
 asked to explain something. In many cases I use her words. I will then try to
 note her words by, --Katie, listed after.)
 ...Caterpillar's are pretty ...We find caterpillar's outside
 ...Caterpillar's are bugs ...Not all caterpillar's are the same
 ...Caterpillar's are alive
 After discussing the different things that we knew about these little creatures
 we took a closer look at what exactly, a caterpillar is.
 A caterpillar is what most of us call a "bug" or an "insect". They are soft,
 worm-like creatures that come in many different colors and sizes. Caterpillar's
 are the "larva stage" of a butterfly! Caterpillar's are also called "eating 
 machines!" During our upcoming lessons we will find out why.
 How do we know that a caterpillar or a butterfly is an insect? Well let's look
 at what makes an insect an insect.
 In order to be an insect you must have certain body parts. Katie can tell you
 what kind of "Body Parts You Must Have To Be An Insect". They are:
 ...6 legs ...1 pair of antennae ...3 body sections ...may have wings
 Katie also knows what the three body sections of an insect are. They are the:
 ...the head ...the thorax ...the abdomen
 We have body sections to. Can you guess what they are? Maybe this picture will
 help. They are your "HEAD", your "TORSO" or (chest, belly and your butt), and 
 your "LIMBS" or (arms & legs).
 The "HEAD" of an insect has the mouthparts, eyes, and antennae. The mouth of 
 an insect should have one of these parts to help him eat:
 ...Jaws for chewing, or
 ...Tongue for licking, or
 ...Tube for sucking.
 Insects eat all kinds of foods. Some eat plants or animals. How they eat 
 depends on what they eat. Some insects, like Monarch caterpillar's and 
 butterlies are picky eaters and will only eat certain types of foods.
 Insects can see, but not like we do. They have special eyes called compound
 eyes. That's like having lots of eyes in one! Some bugs can see good, others
 don't see well at all.
 "Bugs use their antennaes for smelling and feeling things. They can find other
 insects and food with their antennaes." 
 ********This lesson will be continued on the next page.

Return to "Birds & Butterflies."