This week's Outdoor hour challenge was Challenge #22 Butterflies. If you have been following the blog so far you will know that we have raised our own butterflies from Caterpillar stage.
The whole experience of watching the middle stages of the life cycle of a butterfly have been fascinating for both Henry and I. I can't think of a more engaging way to learn about this subject.
After 32 years, I saw first hand, caterpillars close up, eating leaves, spinning silk and creating a large amount of poop for such a small creature!
The change into chrysalis was fascinating, as was the change in colour of the chrysalis over the 10 days they developed. This morning, to see the chrysalis wiggle intermittently and then watch a butterfly emerge as we ate our breakfast was a unique experience.
With live creatures and detailed photos on hand. Henry went about recording the appearance of his butterflies.
We started with finger painting our painted lady. Looking carefully at the photo to add detail in the right places.
Henry then did an amazing drawing of the butterfly with its wings closed (rather than open). With little guidance from me he drew the butterfly from the photo.
He made a point of telling me what he was drawing at each stage: the wings, its head (with a x in the middle of its eye), its body. It has 4 legs. It has 2 antennae with white dots on the end. It has a long tongue. I encouraged him to look carefully at the photo and count specific features such as circles and colours. Which he then carefully added to his drawing in crayons and pencils.
In addition to recording his observations in art form, Henry and I also discussed in detail how to describe the butterfly. I captured his thoughts and he wrote the key words.
We also went over the life cycle of the butterfly once more - a process I think Henry dosn't even need to think about anymore, because he has been exposed to it in such a physical way.