Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Thinking caps and caterpillar facts

It's been translated into at least 40 different languages. It's consistently used by Early Years practitioners as a teaching aid. It's won numerous awards, and as sure as eggs is eggs, it has thrilled little learners everywhere since it's publication in 1969! 
Hurrah, for Eric Carle and his wonderful picture book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, for it is story of the week this week for the little Reception learners at Sunnyside School.

With it's simple text and distinctive collage illustrations, this fabulous story covers an array of educational themes - counting, foods, the days of the week, and the life cycle of the butterfly.   
And it was the concept of transformation (from 'hungry caterpillar to 'beautiful butterfly') that team member Mrs Crayon, found herself exploring with her group of little learners today, as they cleverly fashioned their own hungry caterpillars from empty egg boxes. 

Having established that a caterpillar's remarkable journey begins as a tiny egg, the conversation then focused on the next and most fascinating stage in the life cycle, that of the cocoon or chrysalis. Whilst they snipped and glued, painted and decorated, Mrs Crayon was keen to find out if her industrious group knew anything about the mysterious goings on deep inside a caterpillar's cocoon. 

It has to be said the little makers struggled to offer any insights regarding cocoons, and just as Mrs Crayon was about to enlighten them herself, a budding entomologist in the group put down his glue stick and pipe cleaners and announced, "I know about cocoons I do! A caterpillar goes in one to have a think!" 

Perfect, thought a completely outdone Mrs Crayon!     

Nobody Knows

Nobody knows 
Where a caterpillar goes, 
When he wants to contemplate important things.
Well, there is a little room,
In the depths of his cocoon, 
Where he dreams of how he'd like to spread his wings.

As his life before unravels,
He dreams of foreign travels,
And viewing the whole world from way up high.
Spending many happy hours,
Sipping nectar from the flowers,
No, he cannot wait to be a butterfly.

But until that special day,
In his cocoon he has to stay,
Where no more a caterpillar will he be.
Say farewell to all that munching,
During endless hours of lunching,
With a waistline twice the size of you and me!

Now, inside while he is shrinking, 
You know he's busy thinking,
So don't disturb him is the message please!
The consequences will be tragic,
If you spoil nature's magic,
And deny a butterfly the summer's breeze.

"Today I am mostly thinking about the biological process by which an animal physically develops after birth or hatching, involving a conspicuous and relatively abrupt change in the animal's body structure through cell growth and differentiation. So...I could be in here for some time!" 

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