Help me do it for myself.

Montessori in a Dene Kindergarten – Montessori in a Dene Grade One Classroom

Butterfly Observations

Posted by mrsmelva on 24/05/2010

I have photos of some of the children’s butterfly observations. Some children preferred to simply watch the butterflies, but others enjoyed doing some great detailed drawings. When I first suggested that they draw what they observed, there wasn’t much response. Then one day I took a clipboard, paper and pen and sat down to do my own drawing. When I had finished drawing I got crayons and added colour, going back to look at the butterflies as I added details. I left my paper out in view for a few minutes and then removed it. Even the children who started work while my paper was still there did not copy what was on my paper, but they did copy my approach of observing, drawing and going back to check my observations when adding details and colour. Here are a few samples of their work.

great concentration is needed for scientific drawings

concentration pays off in a detailed symmetrical drawing

two drafts on one page

butterfly eating from a piece of apple, note the proboscis and all the details in the butterfly and the apple

get comfortable, this could take a while, cross out what you don't like and try again

look carefully, there's lots to see

life cycle

several drafts

The children who chose this work tended to repeat it for a day or two and they worked carefully and really tried to record what they had seen in the butterfly homes and in the books that were on the book rack. I noted students going to books to check details as well as going back to the butterflies themselves. Last year I didn’t get any drawings like these, but I did have a student create this fabulous 3-D butterfly.

beautiful butterfly and beautiful artist

Sometimes a lack of preparation of the environment can lead to something wonderful. I had left some of these cups sitting on the chalk ledge with some paper punched symbols that had been prepared for a mitten lesson in the winter. One of the boys took one and began working with it at the art center.  Several children came to tell me he had taken it so I put them all on the art shelf and added another stack of the cups. This is what one student created. After she made her butterfly several others copied her technique but none could match her creativity. the angle of the wings is really well done. She was also very kind in showing others how to put their butterflies together and sharing her creativity.


2 Responses to “Butterfly Observations”

  1. Cynthia said

    What wonderful drawings! The butterfly on the apple slice shows great attention to detail.

    Thanks for sharing the photos.

  2. mrsmelva said

    Thanks, Cynthia
    I was really impressed with that one too. The kids really took time with their drawings this year. Some of the boys spent a lot of time observing but didn’t draw – that’s ok too. In the past I would have pressured them to draw, but I am learning, slowly but surely.

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