Butterflies Day 2: Caterpillar Anatomy

Since butterflies start out as caterpillars we learned about the caterpillars anatomy for our second day of our butterfly unit study.  We had fun with some math, literature, crafts, spelling, and of course science.  We also made a caterpillar lunch today.

Caterpillar Anatomy

1. Discuss: Butterflies do all of their growing during the larva stage (caterpillar).  Like all insects they have three distinct body parts (head, thorax, and abdomen).  The head has a pair of short antennae, mouth parts (upper lip, mandibles, and lower lip), and six pairs of simple eyes, called ocelli, that can detect light and dark. Even with all of these eyes, the caterpillar’s vision is poor. Each body section has a pair of jointed, called true legs, while some of the abdominal segments have false legs, called prolegs. The body has tiny holes that the caterpillar uses to breath called spiracles. The caterpillar also has tiny hairs along his body that sense touch called setae.

2. Read: Creepy, Crawly Caterpillars by Margery Facklam

3. Comprehension questions:

  • What are the 3 body parts of a caterpillar (and all insects)? Head, Thorax, Abdomen
  • What are the stumpy false legs called? Prolegs
  • What is the jaw located on the head called? Mandibles
  • What are the tiny hairs along his body that sense touch? Setae
  • What are the simple eye organs that can detect light and dark? Ocelli
  • What are tiny holes that the caterpillar uses to breath? Spircles

Caterpillar Math Game

I found a elementary Caterpillar Match Game that J liked to play.  You just need to get a file folder and tape in copies of the number caterpillar.  I colored mine to make it look more fun.  Butterfly Unit (69)

Then you just cut out different addition and subtraction facts for your child to match up with the correct numbers on the caterpillar board.  I also laminated the folder and all the pieces.Butterfly Unit (70)

Edible Caterpillar Cocoons

  • 1- 8 oz. tube refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 4 hotdogs
  • 1 ketchup
  1. Preheat oven according to directions on the crescent-roll package. Separate the crescent-roll dough into its pre-cut triangle pieces, and lay them flat. Butterfly Unit (60)
  2. Cut the hot dogs in half and place one half hotdog on each crescent-roll. Roll and bake on a cookie sheet according to package instructions. Dip in ketchup and enjoy.Butterfly Unit (58)
  3. What a fun lunch for the kids, and for dessert I had made caterpillar cupcakes for them.Butterfly Unit (68)Butterfly Unit (66)

Label the Caterpillar Parts

We did the Label the Caterpillar Parts diagram to review what we had learned today.  I used the diagram in the front of Creepy, Crawly Caterpillars by Margery Facklam and the Caterpillar Anatomy page to help with the review.Butterfly Unit (62)

Egg Carton Spelling
  • Egg cartons
  • Green, purple, yellow, white paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Google eyes
  • Pipe Cleaners
  1. Cut the bottoms off of a couple of empty egg cartons.
  2. Paint them green, purple, and yellow.Butterfly Unit (65)
  3. After they dry, turn the green ones into heads, with goggle eyes and pipe cleaner antennae.
  4. Paint letter on top of the yellows (two sets of vowels), and purples (only one set of consonants.) Butterfly Unit (64)
  5. After those dry, you can practice your alphabet, and simple spelling skills.
  6. We used them to review our spelling words for the week.Butterfly Unit (63)

 Caterpillar Poem


Fuzzy, wuzzy, creepy crawly
Caterpillar funny
You will be a butterfly
When the days are sunny.
Wiggling, flinging, dancing, springing
Butterfly so yellow,
You were once a caterpillar,
Wriggly, wiggly, fellow.

by Lillian Vabada

Read the poem and write down all rhyming words from the poem below.