Sunday, 8 June 2014

Caterpillars Continued

This past week, our students have continued wondering and investigating the life cycle of caterpillars.  During a play-based learning period, a few boys were curious about how many legs a caterpillar has.  They began counting the tiny hair-like legs of the caterpillars through the containers, and came up with the number 32.  Then, the boys decided to create 32 legs to add to a caterpillar creation that other students had already made.  The images below show the process of the boys working together to create 32 caterpillar legs. 

The boys used the number wall to help remind them of the number order.

Once the boys completed 32 legs, they glued them onto the caterpillar and shared their creation with the class.

M.R. "We used paper as the legs, and we write numbers on them so we know how many legs there were."
G.V. "We write the number so we know the legs are here.  We put the legs on the whole body because there was no more space in the lower body."
Ms. I "Wow, what a great way to solve that problem."
G.V. "The caterpillar said he's hungry!"
M.R. "The more feet we put, the more hungrier he would be."
Ms. I "When you weren't sure of what number to put next, what did you do?"
M.R. "I used the board."
G.V. "Me and M.R. wrote the same number one time, so we just took one away."
M.R. "When I remembered all the numbers I put them together with my mind."

These students ended up inspiring other students to use a variety of materials to construct caterpillars.  Here is what another group of boys worked together to create.

After adding a variety of materials, the boys found the book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and used it to remind them of all the food the caterpillar ate.  

 Once the caterpillar was complete, they shared their creation with the class.

M.B. "This is the face, and this is the food that he eats.  We used links, and we used corks for legs, and we put the spikes and stomach with blocks."
M.D. "We used chocolate pie, chocolate cake, orange, pickle, ice-cream because we used the caterpillar book."
Ms. I "Why is there a red link at the front of the caterpillar?"
M.B. "Because the caterpillar's face is supposed to be red."
Ms. I "Where did you see a red caterpillar face?"
M.B "It's on the book."

Another one of our students created a caterpillar and wanted to share his creation with the rest of the class.

E.L "I used the glass blocks, I used nature blocks, I used food.  These are the antennas, this is the face and head."
Ms. I "How did you decide on how long your caterpillar would be?"
E.L "I decided to make that long because I thought it was a good idea.  I made a pattern."
Ms. I "Can you tell us more about the pattern you created."
E.L "There's green, red, and then blue, yellow."
Ms. I "Can you tell me about these pieces that stick out of the caterpillar's body?"
E.L "Those are the legs, and the back legs.  My caterpillar is Electric Caterpillar because the yellow is where you get electric from.  When it touches you with the electric you will be a charger, ok!"

Our caterpillars have started to form cocoons.  We are so curious about how long it will take them to be butterflies.  Looking forward to continuing our inquiry with you next week.  

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Hungry Caterpillars

We were SO lucky to receive some caterpillars from our neighbour Ms. Johnston (@ChristyGarrity).  She is always collecting bugs and things that crawl!  We were so curious to see her caterpillar larvae, that she generously gave us some to watch and explore.


We had so many questions and comments about caterpillars.  Here is a record of what we talked about during our group discussion. We wondered how long it would take the caterpillars to turn into a butterflies? We also wondered why the caterpillars had so many legs? 

We worked in small groups to create a caterpillars.  We had to work as a team and decide what materials we would use, and how long our caterpillars would be.  This wasn't as easy as it sounded.  When we talked about what team work means, we said that it was about "taking turns," "sharing ideas," "listening to our friends," and "giving everyone a chance."

When we work as a team great things happen!  below are our finished caterpillar designs and a recorded presentation about how we made them. 

Group #1  

A.V. "N made the baby at the back, and we glued it at the back."
M.B "We put polka dots on the body.  They mean it is a polka dot caterpillar."
N.G. "We used a head for the front, and we used the paper to connect it, we used glue.  Then A, spin them like a circle type, like a cylinder..."
A.V. "It's a chain."
N.G. "Ya, it's a chain, and then she glued it."  

Group #2

E.L. "It, it's a caterpillar that is spiky."
J.P. "We used pyramids and rectangular prisms."
E.L "We used cone, circle, circle, cylinder, cylinder, square, rectangular prism, square, cube, cube, and then we used um, pyramid, square, rectangular..."
K.M. "Don't forget the back!"
E.L. "Square, rectangular prism, triangle, triangle, we got rectangular prism, semi circle... The back is separated.  It was created with shapes and a bridge.  The higher part is taller than this part, then this part is taller than there."
K.M. "We can use the triangle for the hair."

Group #3

M.R. "We used the long pieces as the nose and neck, and tummy."
A.M. "This side is the tail."
M.R. "And we used these as the feet.  We used rectangles."
A.M. "We used rectangular prisms and rectangles."
M. R. "This is the inside of the nose, and this is the antenna, and this is the tongue."

Group #4

M.D. "We used paper, crayons, and glue, and scissors, and we coloured it."
Z.B. "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14."
M.D. "And it's called the Rainbow Caterpillar because it has red, yellow and blue."

Group #5

G.V. "I know, we were finding, um, um, blocks like these so we could make the legs, and um, I wanted to count the legs. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6..."
J.P. "He said 16."
G.V. "These are the antenna.  The orange is for making the chrysalis.  He is just resting here right now."

Group #6

J.B. "We used yellow, orange, purple."
K.V. "We make a body and legs."
J.B. "1, 2, 3, 4... we have 16 legs!"
A.B. "He is so big. The front has a purple face."

Finally, we wanted to keep track of how long it would take for the caterpillars to turn into butterflies.  We are using a calendar to write down the length of time between each stage of the caterpillar's life cycle.

We noticed that the caterpillars have been growing. We predict that next week they will start to form their cocoons.  We wonder what colour the butterflies will be?  One thing is for sure... they are really furry right now!