Monday, March 30, 2015

Let's Get Buggy

Hey there, friends and happy Monday!
I thought I'd start our week off right by sharing a precious story that my students and I read on Friday last week: Velma Gratch and the Way Cool Butterfly by Alan Madison and Kevin Hawkes. Ever heard of it?
If not, allow me to introduce the two of you. You won't regret it. This story was completely new to me, and I'm so glad I found it!
The story is about a young girl, Velma, who is struggling to stand out against the popularity of her older sisters. Velma eventually finds her niche, butterflies, and throughout the book she goes through metamorphosis right before your eyes. The book really is too cute, and such a great introduction to a lesson on character analysis.
My cuties and I had an absolute BLAST reading and discussing this text. Then, I let my friends get into groups and talk about how she changed from the beginning to the end of the story and how this change was similar to the metamorphosis of a butterfly.

We talked about sentence starts such as :
In the beginning, Velma was like a caterpillar because....
In the end, Velma was like a butterfly because...
Their responses were AWESOME and previous to boot. I was one proud teacher of their work.
To pull it all together, we did a fantastic art project. To make the butterflies, I folded white construction paper in half and had my little friends draw half of a butterfly. The best part of this project is that it's totally OK if it's not perfect. Then, I mixed a little black paint and school glue. The kids then traced the outline of their butterflies and made little "windows" on the wings with the paint/glue mixture. Once they dried, we added a little watercolor paint and VOILA! We had ourselves a butterfly!
This book was a great addition to our unit on insects. I loved how engaged my students were in the story. Choosing great mentor texts really makes such an impact on the effectiveness of a lesson.
If you want to snag your own copy of this wonderful text, you can click the picture of the book above or the link on the title.
Hope your week is off to a great start. Happy Monday!