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Growing up and getting bigger, but still me!

Curriculum Idea: As we grow, we change in some ways and stay the same in some ways. Even though we might look different, we are still the same person. Animals also change as they grow, and in some animals this change can be dramatic.

Related Episodes: Not Found Here, Smooch’s Caterpillar, Growing

Ages: 3-6

Subject: Life Science

Skills: Observation, Comparison

Materials: Pictures of your child as a baby and now, pictures of pets or other animals at different ages, glue, paper, crayons/markers/pencils

Directions: In IT’S A BIG BIG WORLD, Wartz goes through a metamorphosis and grows from a tadpole into a frog and Smooch’s friend Harry grows from a caterpillar into a butterfly. While some animals like these go through dramatic changes, other animals and people go through more subtle changes as they grow.

Find pictures of animals at different points in their life. You can print pictures from the Internet, cut out pictures from a magazine, or your child can draw her own pictures. Try to include pictures of animals that go through subtle changes as they grow, such as a kitten and cat, and pictures of animals that go through dramatic changes, such as a caterpillar and butterfly or a tadpole and frog. Use these pictures to make a “Then and Now” book by gluing pictures of one animal on each page of your book. Label the pictures as appropriate. Use “Then and Now” pictures of your child for the front cover!

Talk About It: Using the pictures of your child from the front cover of your book, talk about the ways she looks the same and the ways she looks different. Are her eyes the same color? Has her hair grown? Does she still have dimples? Does she have teeth? Does she still have the same number of eyes, ears, fingers, and toes? Tell your child that even though she is growing and changing, and may look different, she is still the same person.

Looking at the different animal pictures in her book, talk about how animals also grow and change. Be sure to point out that even though they may look different as they grow older, they are still the same animal – just like she is the same person. If your child has a pet that she has had since she was a baby, look at pictures of the pet at different ages and look at the pet now. What changes can she see?

Take It Further: Do research with your child about where to find a caterpillar, what kind of food to give it, what kind of environment it needs, and how long it will take to emerge as a butterfly. Acquire a caterpillar and observe it as it grows and changes into a butterfly. Watch it go through each phase and have your child keep observational drawings of each stage in a scientific notebook. Reference animal books or the Internet as needed to label each phase. Once the butterfly comes out, release it into your backyard.

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