Even very young children are aware that spring is “wake up time” for plants and animals in most places. It is a good time to learn about the life cycles and habits of various animals. There are lots of great arts and crafts projects that can be done around a spring theme.
Here are some good books on plant and animal love for sharing aloud.
Spring Song by Barbara Seuling
My Spring Robin by Anne and Harlow Rockwell
Waiting For Wings by Lois Ehlert
Spring Thematic Unit Writing Station Ideas
1. After sharing a couple of books and having a discussion, have the students name some springtime words and phrases. Write these on chart paper and place in the writing center. Students can make sentences or write stories using the words.
2. Choose an animal that you read about and write an expository paragraph about it.
Spring Thematic Unit Literacy Station
1. For the youngest students, put the words from your spring list on word cards. Students can trace or copy them. They can make the words using magnetic letters. They could also write them on small white or chalkboards. They might could illustrate some of the words.
2. Have strips of paper folded in four sections in the station. Students can draw the sequence of a butterfly’s life cycle. Older students can write out the steps.
Spring Thematic Unit Science Station Ideas
1. After learning about the life cycle of a butterfly, have the following materials for showing the four stages. Students will divide the paper plate into four sections. This may need to be a supervised station for younger students. The teacher can pre-cut leaves while older students can trace and cut out their own.
- white paper plate
- leaf patterns
- green construction paper
- navy beans or peas (egg)
- penne or tubini pasta (larvae)
- large shell pasta (pupa)
- bow tie pasta (butterfly)
- pieces of orange chenille stems
2. The science station is a good place to keep seeds the children have planted. Done soon enough, they could be ready for giving Mom for Mother’s Day. Flower seeds like zinnia and marigolds sprout easily. Students can observe, draw and record the seedlings each week as they grow.
3. Use the following materials to have students create a model for the parts of a plant.
- cupcake wrappers
- real beans or plastic beads (seeds)
- construction paper
- chenille stems
- yarn or twine (roots)
Spring Thematic Unit Math Station Ideas
1. Ladybugs are fun to find and learn about in the spring. Use the dots on ladybug shapes for counting, addition problems and more. Have students cut out the lady bugs from patterns and add dots to illustrate a problem. Get fancy if you want and add googly eyes and antenna.
2. Flower cut-outs can be used in a number of ways for math activities. These fractions flowers were made by fourth graders. For young students, putting a number in the middle and having students figure out how to put dots on every petal in order to add up to the number is a good math logic activity. This may need to be a supervised station for younger students.
Spring Thematic Unit Creation Station Ideas
Ask any artist. Spring is the prime season for art-inspired projects, and children are no exception.
1. This is messy but fun. Students drop diluted food colors with brushes or medicine droppers on white tissue to create the paper need for pretty butterfly wings. the body is a cloths pin that conveniently holds the wings together. Add a bent chenille stem for the antenna.
2. A hand butterfly is cute to do for younger students.
3. Plastic cups and paper plates are recycled into pretty daffodils. Use white or clear plastic dessert cups for the middle. Paint with yellow tempera. The petals are cut from yellow construction paper. The stem is a strip of green paper. Cut the leaves from paper plates and paint them green. Younger students will need assistance
Books to Share for Learning About Plants and Animals in Spring