During term two Pre-primary 2 explored living things through an inquiry learning project. Our project begun with the question: “I wonder how we know if something is a living thing?” We explored living things such as plants, sea animals and bugs through videos, websites and books. Alongside this project we were conducting an Eric Carle author study and due to the children’s love for the book ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ and their interest and questions on butterflies we delved deeper into a butterfly inquiry.

One day during outdoor play one of the students caught a butterfly which resulted in some fascinating and interesting conversations and ideas. The students decided that as part of our project they wanted to make a butterfly that is: “very, very, very big’ – Stephanie. After looking at the butterfly we caught outdoors through a magnifier, Olivia observed that “the wings look like they are made out of soft tissue paper”, consequently we decided to make the wings out of tissue paper and paint them all different colours. We constructed the body out of wire and paper mache.

We then looked at the other features of a butterfly. Abigail noted that the butterfly was missing “eyes, antennae and a mouth”. After some more research, we made compound eyes out of sequins and the long hollow tongue and antennae out of pipe cleaners. The children voted on a name and Olivia’s suggestion of ‘Violet’ got the most votes. This project has been very enlightening not only for the children but also the teachers. It has allowed us as teachers to be responsive to the children and learn alongside them. This project has enabled us to facilitate an environment rich in reading, writing, drawing, observing and creating through inquiry.