Classroom Spotlight: First Grade Science in Nature


Both classes received caterpillars, and set to scientific inquiry, observing them daily, and noting the variation of the caterpillar stages (or instars). They noticed that caterpillars molted, formed  their own waste, and created weblike structures in their habitats to keep them safe.  First graders also noted the transformation of the caterpillar during its chrysalis phase, watching the change in color of each chrysalis before they hatched into butterflies. At the end of our butterfly transformation, we released them out into the world, and even had some land in our first grade garden, pollinating our flowers and vegetables!

In addition, our students learned about insect anatomy, discovering not only the main features that typically define insects (head, thorax, abdomen, and 6 legs), but also learning about how insects breathe and use their antennae to make sense of their environment. 
Further investigation will include ways in which insects impact their surroundings for better or worse, and why insects are such an integral part to their environments and to the world at large.

In addition to this fun project, first graders learned about the life cycle of plants, embodying the different stages  of seed, saplings, adult plants and pollination through fun pantomime activities. They also had the wonderful opportunity to plant plants in our first grade garden which now includes parsley, tomatoes, mint, strawberries, swiss chard, and marigolds.