ELC learning takes flight

It all started with a caterpillar named Minty.

When Blackfriars Early Learning Centre (ELC) student Margot discovered Minty living in her garden at home, she decided to bring her new friend in to show her classmates.

Minty sparked a unit of learning that culminated in students from the ELC’s Purple Room recently releasing butterflies into the centre’s garden.

An ELC student with one of the butterflies they watched develop from a caterpillar.

Teacher Stephanie La Forgia said the students’ learning covered everything from drama, to science, art, English, maths and literacy, as they took every opportunity to discover more about the life cycle of butterflies.

“We acted out the life cycle of butterflies. The students learnt words including chrysalis and metamorphosis. We created butterflies in art,” Ms La Forgia said.

“We brought in some caterpillars, so we watched them go through the life cycle and change in chrysalises and then we had butterflies that we released in the ELC garden.”

Some of the Purple Room students’ work on butterflies.

She was impressed with the preschoolers’ engagement in the unit of learning.

“It was really amazing,” she said.

“We looked at different butterflies that we find around Adelaide and we looked at native butterflies versus the monarch and the different plants that they ate.

“Some of the children started making the connections, saying ‘I’ve seen that in my yiayia’s garden, or we have that one in the garden at home’.”

The students created their own Very Hungry Caterpillar.

The students’ learning culminated in a celebration marking the 55th birthday of Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar (20 March).

“We created own Hungry Caterpillar and looked at the maths around the Hungry Caterpillar and sequencing with the days of the week. They loved this activity,” Ms La Forgia said.

The unit of learning had sparked wider interest in the natural world, Ms La Forgia said, with the boys and girls now paying more attention to the insects that were part of the ELC garden.

Student Molly, 3, said: “I like it when they hatch into butterflies because they are my favourite animal.”

William, 4, said: “I have a white butterfly and a blue butterfly at my house.”

Receptions receive lemon trees in Rite of Welcome

Blackfriars has celebrated two Rites of Welcome to mark the start of the 2024 school year.


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