This term I decided to be naughty and squeeze in my very own unit about bugs and insects for our final term in prep. Our old preschool system was very inquiry/play-based but now that our curriculum is all mandated, the kiddies miss out on all the fun investigations that arise throughout the year.
My kids have always been interested in bugs so it was a unit that was both relevant and interesting to them! Last weekend, my Nana was in her garden and came across some Monarch caterpillars. She collect them for me but by the time I went to visit, two had already made their cocoons!
I decided to take 1 cocoon and a couple of caterpillars to show the kids. Every couple of days, I’d go back to my Nana’s house and collect more fresh weed for the kids to feed to them.
On Monday, I took our new pets into the classroom and we spoke about how we could find out what they were. I got a book about butterflies and caterpillars and we searched through for photographs that matched our caterpillars. We also watched some clips on youtube showing how much they change through their entire life cycle.
A few kids went to the oval to collect a nice strong branch for the caterpillars to make their cocoons on when they were ready.
We observed them all week, and on Thursday morning, our biggest caterpillar was hanging upside down ready to begin! We had seen the caterpillars do this on youtube so I knew he was close to making his cocoon. I was very excited that the kids would be able to watch his transformation!
I assumed this process would take a while and went up to the office to check my pigeon hole. When I got back, he was done! He was still spinning around in there thought so I opened my doors early and welcomed the kids in!
They were so incredibly excited – it was so cute to watch! The kids sat and watched his final stages of cocoon making for almost an hour. When the parents came to collect them in the afternoon, they were all dragged over to the table to check out the latest advances!
We are now waiting for our next few caterpillars to grow big enough and I have my fingers crossed that they will make their cocoons this week – our last week of school! Hopefully one of our butterflies will emerge too – it’s all very exciting in my room this week!