Caterpillars & butterflies ~ Prep art lesson

The theme of ‘change’ is a perennial one in primary school, and for Prep students, caterpillars to butterflies along with Eric Carle’s ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ is a wonderful inspiration for art lessons. Last year’s Preps made painted paper caterpillar & butterfly collages which were amazing. This year in the classroom they were looking more at chemical change, so I decided to do colour mixing activities- primary colour mixing to make secondary colours.

I shared The Very Hungry Caterpillar story and we looked closely at the colours on the caterpillar. The students were given a small pieces of blue and yellow Model Magic paper clay to roll and knead together to make green. They then tore off small pieces to roll into balls, pushing only lightly together to join. Some decided to make a hump on their caterpillar. Next they were given a small piece of red for the head and a tiny bit of yellow to separate in two for the eyes.

To make purple for the antennae, they were given a tiny amount of blue and red to then roll thinly to attach to the top of the head. They just used a green texta to add dots on the yellow eyes. Brown for the legs.

Butterflies were made by using food dye in dauber bottles on a folded piece of kitchen paper. Students daubed the colours any way they liked and when opened could see the design was mirrored on the other side. (Discuss symmetry!)

The drew a half butterfly wing design and I used that to cut out the folded kitchen paper when dry. Students chose an insect body (made by Roylco), put a chenille stick through the head for antennae and I fan folded their butterfly to insert though the slot in the body.

Next step will be for the Preps to make a leaf for the caterpillar and a wire stand for the butterfly for display! Will update with a photo when done.

short video of process

Autumn Texture Trees- Foundation to Year 1 Art lesson

Foundation (Prep) students loved experimenting with the effects of texture wands and implements before choosing one to create the Autumn leaves on their textured tree.

These artworks took three lessons (though they could be done in two), but there were great art concepts for learning the elements of art along the way. One element was texture – the bark of the tree and the leaves themselves. The other element we looked at was colour, and specifically warm colours.

The full lesson plan with learning intentions, step by step activities, resources, and alignment to the FOUNDATION Victorian curriculum, and student examples is available in a Word Document.