Here's an example of the story times our children's librarians offer.
Last spring the Lexington Public Library planted a monarch waystation to create a habitat for this vulnerable species. We recently found our first monarch caterpillar in the waystation, so I did butterfly story times to celebrate the big event.
At our first butterfly story time, we read the classic picture book The Very Hungry Caterpillar. This book offers everything: gorgeous art, a charming story, counting practice, and a child-friendly explanation of metamorphosis. I made sure to use this word in story time, explaining it as “a big change.” While the word is not used in Carle’s book, it does appear in many picture books about caterpillars and butterflies. Explaining metamorphosis to children will enrich their vocabulary, and their understanding of the world around them. Both skills will improve their comprehension when they start reading independently.
Our second butterfly story time focused on monarch butterflies, so I talked about some information in Gail Gibbons’ picture book Monarch Butterfly. This book is packed with facts about monarchs, but it’s a little long to read from cover to cover. This is especially true when your audience is comprised of wiggly two- and three-year-olds. So I just used her text to explain some of the pictures, which is an effective technique for introducing young children to informational books.
Play gives children a chance to explore concepts they discover in books. This craft from the Mama Smiles blog lets your children get crafty. http://www.mamasmiles.com/caterpillar-to-butterfly-craft/
When the kids have finished the craft, they will have a fun toy they can use to explore metamorphosis. They also can use the toy to tell and retell stories, which helps them develop the verbal skills they need to become proficient readers.
For more information about monarch waystations, visit http://www.monarchwatch.org/waystations/. And please come see our very own waystation at the Tates Creek Branch, 3628 Walden Drive.
Other Books About Butterflies:
- A Butterfly is Patient by Dianna Hutts Aston
- Becoming Butterflies by Anne Rockwell
- Butterfly House by Eve Bunting
- Dinosaurs Roar, Butterflies Soar! By Bob Barner
- Fly, Monarch, Fly! by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace