This week the children observed little black balls in the containers. During our whole class science discussion some children said the caterpillars had babies. Other children thought these were eggs or droppings. One child remembered reading in a book that caterpillars did not have babies. It was the butterflies lay the eggs and then they turn into the caterpillars. Based on observation and inquiry, almost all the students agreed they were baby caterpillars.
Then we researched and learned about the molting stage. As caterpillars eat and grow they get too big for their skin. They begin to molt and shed their skin leaving behind old skin. We observed our caterpillars again and the first graders all agreed this must be what is happening. Later that day we read a book about the lifecycle of a butterfly. This helped students to understand the different stages.
The past few weeks we have been leaving about measurement. Students have been measuring the caterpillars daily with rulers. It has been so much fun!