Dance Like a Butterflyby: Alicia Stapp, Debby Chessin, and Rebecca Deason

Journal ArticleDigital resources are stored online in your NSTA Library.

An integrated first-grade lesson.

Grades
  • Elementary
Publication Date
2/1/2018

Community ActivitySaved in 1 Libraries

Reviews (2)
  • on Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:14 PM

This is a great resource for teachers to use if they are planning on conducting a five-day unit on the life-cycle of a butterfly. The information was presented in a clear and concise way where each day of the unit was described in detail as to what students will learn and the activities they will complete. I thought that it was effective how actual photos of students engaging in some of the activities were included in the article because it provided a visual representation of some of the activities and made the lesson plan/description easier to follow. Furthermore, this article allows teachers to see the value of moving away from the traditional worksheet approach when teaching about the life cycle and instead, use an integrated learning approach that incorporates math and literacy as well as dance and movement (e.g. students act out different stages of the life-cycle). This makes it a more fun and engaging lesson for students. I also liked how the unit encourages students to use a variety of resources to gain information about this topic (books and internet resources) where they record their observations and information they collect. This information is then shared during whole group discussions and recorded for the entire class to see. This teaches children the important skill of navigating through many resources. The lesson also incorporates small group activities that can be effective in helping students foster their communication skills. Overall, this lesson allows students to foster their observational and higher level thinking skills as they learn about the stages in the butterfly’s life cycle.

Melissa B
Melissa B

  • on Mon Oct 29, 2018 9:37 PM

First, I value the preassessment piece that was used in constructing this lesson. Providing this really ensured that high-level thinking is to be had that is specific to their learning. Next, I would have never thought of incorporating dance into this, and I love how fluid it seems in the article. There was so much evidence of valuable learning and enjoyment! The ELL's were not forgotten during this activity, and that ensures that all learners are learning together. I thought that integrating literature as the "hook" was a great way to get that piece in there and having students shade on a timeline to display elapsed time was a great visual for ELL's and all students. It also kept them accountable for their own progress in the assignment. Students were instructed to be valuable and active listeners while providing constructive feedback to students in doing so. This establishes a great classroom community and respect among all students during learning processes. Overall, being able to integrate motor skills, music, literature, art, writing, discussing, technology, math and science created a valuable and supportive lesson for students throughout their class. The teachers chose a holistic rubric in this lesson to observe and assess student’s needs, growths, and accomplishments. There are many other ways that children could have been assessed, but I feel that this type of assessment conducive to the learning that took place, really valued each student’s learning experience in a differentiated and valuable way. The pictures represented growth and displayed each step in easy to understand visuals. I felt like I was in the classroom receiving this instruction with this article, and I value the knowledge shared as a fellow educator.

Caitlyn Cobb
Caitlyn Cobb


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