butterfly

Using Picture Books to Teach Science & Literacy

This week’s haul of STEM books from the library contained three that caught our particular attention. Each of them creates a bridge to curriculum in both science and language arts. This is the first of a three part series.

MOTH & BUTTERFLY

by Dev Petty and Ana Aranda

This packs so much into a few pages!

It’s about the friendship between a butterfly and moth, focusing on what they have in common as caterpillars. They even build their cocoon/chrysalis next to each other. But, when they emerge, their differences become apparent. Even with their big changes, the two manage to stay friends. Bright and happy artwork make this engaging to look at.

How might you use this in a classroom or learning setting?

Language Arts Use: Comparison Writing — The language in this book is pretty sparse, which makes it a fun, quick way to introduce compare/contrast skills. Students will do this type of writing all through their K-12 experience, which makes it a valuable book to introduce a lesson or simply set out in a middle or high school classroom, also.

Science Use: Metamorphosis — This book keeps readers focused on one big scientific word: metamorphosis. Studies show how important prior knowledge is to academic achievement. This takes a complex term, breaks down the definition, and provides a fun visual to seal the deal!

There’s also a bit of backmatter that explains how to tell the difference between a moth or a butterfly. It challenges the kids to pay attention the next time they see one of these critters flit by.

The simple text includes speech bubbles that add to the excitement and fun, and the author’s choice to focus on one big word and concept (metamorphosis) rather than a hefty vocabulary or the full life cycle (eggs are unmentioned) makes this a great choice for the very young.

–From Kirkus Reviews

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