Last night I took a picture of Tiny the Monarch in his chrysalis (yes, he is a boy!). You can clearly see that the chrysalis had darkened and his wing pattern was clearly visible through the outer layer. Usually this is a sign that the butterfly will emerge within 48 hours, and Tiny did us proud. He emerged at the crack of dawn and though we did not see him come out, we caught sight of him while his wings were still small and crinkled.
The children and I watched as Tiny wiggled and rocked from side to side, making motions to send fluid into his wings to pump them up to their full size.
The children could hardly believe that Tiny was now a butterfly... and that we'd have to say goodbye to him...
But when the moment came to let TIny go, we watched with happiness in our hearts, the children and waved goodbye to him, and wished Tiny lots of luck on his journey to find flowers and other butterflies. Just after taking the picture below Tiny opened his wings and flew away on the breeze.
The children and I enjoyed some time playing in the sandbox after releasing Tiny, then we headed inside to learn about apples.
We began with a story about why apples have stars inside them. The children listened as they followed a tree's journey from a seed to a mature tree with apples and how many nights the tree looked up at the sky and admired the beautiful stars twinkling in the sky, wishing for one of her own. In our story, the tree forgot all about wishing for stars when she discovered she had lots of tiny apples to take care of. She takes such good care of her apples that a fairy visits and offers her not just one star, but a whole bagful. In true motherly fashion, the apple tree thinks not of herself but of her apple children and asks the fairy to give the stars to them. The fairy grants the apple tree's unselfish wish and puts a little star inside every apple... and that is why all apples have a star inside!
Next, we talked about the colors apples can be, and I presented the children with a red apple, a yellow apple, and a green apple. We discovered the star inside each apple along with the apple's little black seeds.
We talked a bit about apples and their tastes and smell. We predicted that all the apples would taste sweet.
After sampling each color, we realized that some of the apples had a sour taste.
We decided which color of apple was our favorite and filled in a graph to represent our preferences. To everyone's surprise, the yellow apple won the "Most Popular Apple" taste test!
The taste test was a great, hands-on way to learn a little about math (shapes, counting, and graphing) and a little about science (hypotheses and experimental process) while we used our senses to make learning even more fun.
We finished our day with a reading of The Paper Bag Princess.
See you tomorrow!