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235 Hope Road, Tinton Falls, NJ 07724  /  732.542.4777

Pre-K Explores Life Cycles with Butterfly Art

Collaboration and hands-on learning are vitally important in an early childhood environment. Both allow great opportunities for young children to develop social-emotional, language, motor and cognitive skills as they independently test out problem solving, experimentation, negotiating ideas, patience and turn taking.

This May, our Pre-K students explored the works of author and illustrator, Eric Carle, while also observing live caterpillars in our classroom. They read many of Carle’s stories and were curious about how he created such colorful illustrations by painting and collaging with tissue paper. His beautiful artwork inspired the class to create a collaborative mural about the life cycle of caterpillar classroom pets after reading his most well known story, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. 

While comparing Carle’s books, the students noticed that he always layered and mixed colors and incorporated texture into all of his art. The children worked collaboratively on large sheets of paper to mix and paint with a variety of scraping and mark making tools, and collaged with bits of tissue paper to add texture.

Once dry, they traced and cut out shapes they would later use to create the caterpillar, chrysalis, butterfly and a big yellow sun, which they discovered was a common thread throughout the majority of Carle’s books.

Like butterflies, the children were free to come and go as they pleased, visiting this open-ended, evolving project over the course of several weeks, making marks and contributing their thoughts about the process and what they had learned. 

The finished project is a beautiful addition to the aesthetics of the Lower School walls, and the time spent working on it is a testament to the growth that happens in the classroom on a daily basis.

Ranney School

235 Hope Road
Tinton Falls, NJ 07724
Tel. 732.542.4777

Our mission is to know and value every child, nurturing intellectual curiosity and confidence, and inspiring students to lead honorably, think creatively, and contribute meaningfully to society.