Saturday, July 7, 2012

My Trial Run (Lesson Plans for Butterfly Life Cycle and Days of the Week in Spanish)

I thought it might be prudent to do a trial run to get an idea of how much time I would need for planning, how much time the lessons took, and how my kids did with the lessons. This turned out to be highly beneficial as I learned so much in those few weeks.  For example, I realized I was over-planning.  I spent two weeks planning for one week of school.  My experience as a first grade teacher had me trained to plan lessons based on a classroom full of kids at a wide range of skill levels.  At some point I had an "aha" moment and realized, "Wait a minute, I only have to plan for two kids at their exact skill level and learning styles."  Seems like common sense, but I had to change my mindset.

Other things I learned were specific to my kids: attention spans, likes, work pace, etc. I also figured out which activities I would do with both children and which ones would be for the 5-yr-old only.

Below are some of the lessons/activities we worked on.  They were mainly focused on Spanish vocab.  We will be adding all subjects when we "officially" begin school at the end of the summer.

Butterfly Life Cycle/El ciclo de vida de la mariposa


We began by reading the book, "Butterfly/Mariposa by Susan Canizares.  It is one in a series of beginner science books from Scholastic.  

After reading the book we talked about relevant vocabulary: mariposa, oruga, huevo, crisálida.

Next we made each step in the life cycle out of different materials.  

--Butterfly:  The boys each painted a coffee filter however they wanted.  Then we used a pipe cleaner to tie the middle of the coffee filter and make the antenna.

--Egg: I cut green felt into the shape of a leaf, and used circle glitter stickers for the eggs.

--Catterpillar: I cut an egg carton into fourths, and the boys decorated them with markers.  We stuck in pipe cleaners for legs and glued on googley eyes.

--Chrysalis: I found some stretchy, brown fabric in my sewing stash.  We rolled up pieces to look like a cocoon.

I had my 5-yr-old write the names of each cycle, and I made stickers for my 3-yr-old to place in the correct cycle.

Here is the finished product:


The Very Hungry Caterpillar/La oruga muy hambrienta

In keeping with the butterfly theme, we read the book, "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle in Spanish.  My kids know the story by heart, so they had no trouble following the story in Spanish.  


I used this printout, which I printed, from DLTK Growing Together to review the food vocabulary from the book.

Next I had the boys take turns matching the food the caterpillar ate with the day of the week in which he ate it.  We did this on the pocket chart.

Finally, I made a chart with the days of the week.  I had the boys draw in their own own food for each day of the week.  They liked this because they got to choose what they wanted their own very hungry caterpillar to eat.

Cookie's Week/La semana de Cookie

The next day we read La Semana de Cookie by Cindy Ward and Tomie dePaola.

The first couple of times we read the book, I read in Spanish and asked the kids to guess what the words meant by looking at the pictures.  After that I read it only in Spanish.  I found clipart from Cookie's Week here.  We played memory match with the days of the week and Cookie's activities.