News & Awards American Biology Teacher Review: Caterpillar to Butterfly


March, 2012  |  The American Biology Teacher


Marcia Daft, a nationally known arts-integration specialist, professional musician, and teaching artist has produced an 80-minute DVD for students in Pre-Kindergarten through Third grade entitled, “Caterpillar to Butterfly: Adventures in Science, Music and Dance.” This interactive learning experience is comprised of a series of lesson plans: students study the life cycle of the Monarch butterfly through viewing time-elapsed nature footage, moving their bodies to specific musical accompaniment to demonstrate metamorphosis, retelling their understanding in their own words and drawings, and performing the butterfly life cycle.

The DVD is divided into 6 sections which include an explanation of arts integration practice, directions for facilitating the lessons, rules for music and movement, sections for directing student learning, and the complete musical score with directions for a culminating student performance. Lessons for children contain clear visual and oral directions, are paced appropriately, and are highly engaging and interactive. After viewing nature footage of the metamorphosis of a monarch butterfly, students are invited to move to demonstrate the changes a butterfly undergoes, cued by an original score composed by Ms. Daft that reflects the actions of the organism. The DVD jacket gives a brief description of the chapters of learning and lists the National Content Standards covered in Science, Dance, and Music.

This DVD is beautifully photographed, easy to use, highly engaging, interactive, and scientifically accurate. A perfect complement to a classroom textbook or hands-on learning experience, it can also be used as a primary teaching tool with assessment of student understanding built in. Children are asked to demonstrate understanding of the life cycle through oral descriptions, illustrations, and group and individual creative movement and musical experience. This program has the capacity to reach all students including non-English speakers, challenged learners, and those needing additional enrichment due to its multi-sensory, interactive, group experience.

 



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