Prior to this learning activity, the teacher will read to their class the Dr. Seuss book, “My, Oh My--A Butterfly!” During the reading, the teacher should stop frequently to ask questions and access prior knowledge of butterflies. Other third-grade level books on butterflies could be used to access prior knowledge as well.
After reading the book, pair students together, allowing them to collaborate and try to determine what four characteristics all living things have in common.
The teacher should allow students the opportunity to present their ideas to the class to create a controlled discussion of the four characteristics all living things have in common.
To introduce the learning activity, the teacher will pull up the app “Popplet” on a digital device, and allow students to view the app as a group.
The teacher will work through and create an example Popplet that describes the life cycle of a different living thing (frog, flowering plant, kangaroo, etc.) while the class observes and learns.
The teacher will then give each pair of students a digital device. The teacher will walk each group through the designing of a mock Popplet to ensure everyone knows how to properly use the app, and properly complete the learning activity.
When the teacher is confident that each student knows their role, they will explain the details of their learning activity of the life cycle of butterflies.
The learning activity should include the following: A central Popplet, which is the main idea (labeled, “The Life Cycle of Butterflies”). Four new Popplet branches should extend from the central Popplet (labeled: Birth, Growth, Reproduction, and Death). Four more Popplet branches will extend from each of those four Popplets and will be used to insert interesting facts about the birth, growth, reproduction, and death of a butterfly.
Students will work together to create the basic Popplet design. They will be researching sixteen interesting facts in all about the butterfly and insert those into the appropriate Popplet box.
Working within Popplet, students will upload appropriate pictures to represent at least eight of their individual Popplet boxes. How to upload a picture will be demonstrated by the teacher prior to the learning activity.
This process could take up to two or three days of science class time to create.
During the learning activity, the teacher will walk around the room, helping students with questions concerning their Popplet presentation. Before a student is finished, the teacher must read through and approve their presentation before it is viewed by the entire class. Students will be given the opportunity to change anything about the presentation that needs to be revised as determined by the teacher.
If some groups finish before others, the finished groups can walk around the room playing the role of the teacher helping others move quicker through the process of creating a Popplet about the life cycle of a butterfly.
When all the groups are finished creating their Popplet presentation, they will collaborate once again to determine who will say what during their presentation to the entire class.
The conclusion of this activity needs an entire science block of time. Each group will present the information to the class sharing their interesting facts about the birth, growth, reproduction, and death of butterflies.
During each presentation, the teacher can ask questions to truly access student learning. After each presentation, allow the other groups an opportunity to ask questions of the presenters.