In the spring, nature emerges with new growth and new life. Bring some of the outside world indoors with a Sonlight Butterfly Unit Study.
“I wish the butterfly study never had to end…”Commented my six-year-old as the last of our released butterflies flew away.
You know when a lesson makes that big of an impact, it’s a good one!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Sonlight. I received free product and was compensated for my time. I am not required to give a positive review and all opinions are my own. See my full disclosure for more information.
Sonlight Butterfly Unit Study
My youngest absolutely loves the outdoors. He loves watching the birds that come to our birdfeeder, and he’s my gardening buddy. We always start his school day with science, his favorite subject.
So when I got the chance to try out Sonlight’s Butterfly Unit Study, I knew it would make a great addition to our homeschool science curriculum this spring.
What’s Included in the Butterfly Unit Study?
As soon as the box of materials arrived, my little guy wanted to see what was inside. He immediately grabbed the living books to peruse while I glanced through the Instructor’s Guide. Together we looked at the materials included for the weekly activities.
As a homeschool parent, I appreciate the attention to detail that Sonlight included in the Instructor’s Guide. This is a four-week study, with each week on its own lesson plan page. At a glance, you can easily see which book to read of the three included. You’ll also find activity sheets for a couple of the weeks, snack ideas for the butterfly’s life cycle, and step-by-step instructions for the crafts. Most of the craft materials came with the unit study. Sonlight knows how to make lessons simple for the homeschool family!
What You’ll Receive with this Butterfly Study
- Instructor’s Guide
- Activity Sheets for the Caterpillars and Butterflies book with answer key
- Caterpillars and Butterflies book
- Velma Gratch and the Way Cool Butterfly book
- Butterflies for Kiri book that includes instructions at the end for creating an origami butterfly
- Supplies for the activities, including lapbook file folder, craft sticks, glue, origami paper, tissue paper, wooden clothespin, pompoms, googly eyes and more
- Mesh Hamper for chrysalides
Find out more information and see pictures of included items in the butterfly study here.
One thing not included in this unit study is caterpillars. Instructions for purchasing them are included in the kit, but you get them yourself. This wasn’t a problem for us. I purchased ours on Amazon and even got a two-for-one deal so we ended up with ten total caterpillars plus butterfly life cycle figurines!
How We Included the Sonlight Butterfly Unit Study in Our Homeschool
We have been using Sonlight Science Level A for my son’s current homeschool science curriculum. I decided to put that on hold for a month so that we would have time to fit in the butterfly study. It worked beautifully during our usual science time.
Each week of the four weeks of lessons focused on one stage in the life cycle of a butterfly. The books we read related to that stage, along with the activities and projects we did. I thought that was a great way to divide the unit study. One of my favorite things about using Sonlight curriculum is the literature they provide to teach information. For the butterfly study, we read one nonfiction book about caterpillars and butterflies as well as two fiction books.
We began most of the days by reading several pages of that week’s book. The first couple of weeks I helped my son complete activity sheets, while the last couple of weeks I asked him questions found in the Instructor’s Guide about the book. The guide also included different daily activities, such as crafts, snacks or lapbook pages.
What My Son Enjoyed Most in the Butterfly Study
First, my son especially loved the crafts. One week he used the included materials to create a caterpillar with a clothespin, pompoms, and fun googly eyes. The next week he painted a toilet paper tube to look like a chrysalis. He put the caterpillar from the week before into it. Then finally he turned the caterpillar into a butterfly by using markers to decorate coffee filters before spraying water on them and attaching to the caterpillar. Another craft he liked was creating a butterfly suncatcher by gluing tissue paper squares onto bubble wrap.
His absolute favorite part of the Sonlight Butterfly Unit Study was hands-down watching the live insects. He was in awe noticing how large the caterpillars grew as they ate. They arrived in a sealed plastic cup, so we set it on our school table to observe through each day. We were excited that we managed to catch one of the caterpillars as it formed the chrysalis.
After all of the chrysalides were formed, we moved the lid of the containers to the included mesh hamper. I will comment here that I would have preferred something more stable in which to place the chrysalides. We placed it into a plastic container to keep it secure. Every morning he checked to see if any butterflies emerged. Luckily we managed to catch one as it emerged. They do it very quickly so we only caught the one. The butterflies need the temperature to be at least 55 degrees to be released outside, so they stayed in the house for several days.
Our butterfly release day was definitely the highlight of the unit study. My son patiently sat outside and waited until every single butterfly flew out of the hamper. He even managed to get two of them to walk onto his hand. That’s when he told me that he wished the butterfly study never had to end, so I’m guessing we’ll probably be getting some more caterpillars next spring.