April Step by Step!

Hi there!  It’s new for a new set of Step by Step weeks!  This round is all about life cycles and rabbits AKA Easter week!  All of the  lesson plans shared below are from my KinderLiteracy units!  Unit 6 of KinderLiteracy is all about life cycles!   Up first let’s talk butterflies!  The butterflies close read is also part of KinderLiteracy Unit 6.  The main text for this week is a National Geographic reader, Butterflies by Laura Marsh.

The paired text in the lesson plans is the Hungry Caterpillar.  You can pair any butterflies fiction/nonfiction text that you have on hand as well.

Day 1 of the close will consist of you introducing the students to the topic.  You will also be having students share their schema of butterflies.  You will also give them an opportunity to share new knowledge learned after the first read.  The book is FILLED with facts so they should have lots to share.  I feel that taking time to back to the schema chart after the initial read is crucial.  It’s a way to show follow through to the close read.  Prior to reading on day one we say something like, “Boy and girls, today we will be listening for enjoyment and listening for new facts.”  When we give  them time to share with their partners after the read, they see that we actually are wanting them to listen and learn on that day!  They have a “job”.

The practice sheet for day one.

Day two of the close read is all about vocabulary!   One of the essential questions for this week actually deals with vocabulary as well.  This book is a higher level than most of the texts we will read this year.  It’s important to time to discuss those words and have the kids understand the importance of the vocabulary as well!

You will see from below that this week’s are BIG and do require a bit of explaining!

Below are some ideas for vocabulary actions!

Migration- lock both thumbs to create a butterfly.  Everyone will have their butterfly flutter and “migrate”

Instinct- Open and shut your eyes or pretend to touch something hot and pull away.

Generation- Use your hands to indicate someone little in the family and all the way to adult.

Nectar- Have students pretend that they have a proboscis and are getting nectar from a plant.

Chrysalis- Use both hands to resemble a hanging chrysalis.

To practice pollination and the use of a proboscis we did these little activity! I always like to find hands-on and meaningful ways to relate the vocabulary words to their lives!  I ran across this ADORABLE here!  Each student had  juice (nectar), straw (proboscis), Cheetos (pollination) and a flower di cut.  I purchased the juice AKA nectar and the Cheetos and we got busy exploring pollination!  I had the kiddos drink as much nectar as they wanted while touching their Cheetos.  After we were done with the nectar we explored around the room spreading pollen (No we didn’t drink our friends nectar.)

On day three of the close read we will dig deeper into the text with text-dependent questions!  These questions are based around vocabulary as well to follow along with our focus for the week!  On day three of this close read, we jump right into the life cycle of the close read!  I purchased these little figurines and the kids were in love!

The students also complete the life cycle!

There are included picture cards for you to recreate it as a class!

My kiddos have always loved this super simple life cycle craft!  I purchase paper plates and make one line down the middle.  They then glue on the “Butterfly Life Cycle” title and then use noodles I have placed on the table!  You can snag the butterfly life cycle title images **HERE**  and the leaves **HERE**

The final project!

On day 4 we work on bringing in our paired text, The Very Hungry Caterpillar!  We compare and contrast the similarities and differences between our two texts!

We also make these drop dead ADORABLE hats!

Day 4 we also work on labeling butterflies!

On day 5 it’s time for the quick assessment and our weekly craft project!

Coffee filter butterflies are so easy and are always so beautiful!

You will give each kiddo a coffee filter!  I like to also give them additional scrap paper so the markers do note bleed!  They can color any kind of pattern/design they choose!

You will then go by and spritz their coffee filter with a water bottle.

Allow time for the coffee filters to dry.

After the coffee filters are dry then you will wrap around a pipe cleaner to create the butterfly and antennae.


I just love each and everyone is so unique!

In the KinderLiteracy plans, I also leave writing plans!  This week the kiddos are writing butterfly fact books!

And when combos to 10 fall on butterfly week!

And of course a little butterfly action!

Ribbit. Ribbit.

It’s time to talk a little frog!  This unit is also from KinderLiteracy Unit 6!  This week’s main text is another National Geographic reader, Frogs by Elizabeth Carney.

Below is a look at the week’s essential questions!  There are also two essential questions for each close read.

On day one the students will be assisting you on your schema chart!  You will again revisit the chart after your initial cold read.  You can write in two different colors to indicate learning before the initial read and after.

If placing into a poetry center, you can also print out the small vocabulary cards and allow students to practice those at the poetry center.

Let’s take  a look at the frog vocabulary words for the week!

Poison- stick your tongue out in disgust.

Gills- take in and out big breaths.

Croak- breathe in a make your best croak noise.

Habitat- use your arms and open then to indicate that the space you use is your habitat.

Day two practice sheet.

On day three, students will work on text-dependent questions and the frog life cycle.

Collecting facts from the text is a great way to show student learning and the true meaning of “reading closely”.


This week in KinderLiteracy the students will write Frog fact booklets!  I give each student a large sheet of construction paper to create a book cover!  They clue on the front cover and then I give it two staples along the side!

Another option to showcase the adorable frog fact books!

The included KinderLiteracy frog craft is a fun one!

This is an adorable froggy craft from Daisy Days For Learning!

Let’s move onto our next KinderLiteracy Unit 6 close read, Seed to Plant!  This too is a National Geographic reader!  I chose to pair with The Tiny Seed!

Unit 6 is all about life cycles so the essential questions through the units will also reflect that!

Below is a look at this week’s vocabulary words!

Soil- use fingers to resemble sprinkling out soil

Pollination- pretend to be an insect that is landing on multiple flowers

Germination- make  a fist and then slowly open your fingers and push up your arm to indicate a flower growing

Seedling-shake one finger to resemble a weak sprout that is growing but not strong enough

Day two’s practice sheet.

Below is a look at this week’s poem.


The students will also work on labeling plants!

This week the students will work on writing step by step stories for planting seeds!

Below is an adorable way to display their how to books!

We also love reading Planting a Rainbow and making our own garden from paper scraps!  The kiddos then wrote a matching story for their garden.

This week’s KinderLiteracy craft is a fun one!  Each kiddos will need a small cupcake liner!

They will then glue on the stem and leaves.

The students will add in the seeds, roots and labels.

We also loved this super fun Pinterest-inspired craft!

To help the kiddos understand the process of growing seeds I like to give each kiddos a cup of soil and seeds!  We water them when needed and watch them grow, grow, grow!

Up next let’s talk Tiger!  You might be wondering why the tiger close read is part of the Life Cycles close read but let’s dive in!  The Tiger close read allows students to see an animal grow and change similar to them!  A tiger cub starts small and has a lot of similarities as them!  The life cycle that the students will learn in this close read is their own!

On day one students will work on building their schema!

Below are the weekly essential questions!

Vocabulary for the Tiger’s close read!

Territory- use your arms to create a box to indicate your space that you protect

Carnivore- pretend to bite off a piece of meat

Tigress- make a loud roar, showing how mother tigers protect their babies

Prey- use your hand to grab out towards a passing prey

Den- use arms to resemble a house

It’s important for students to share out all of the facts that they have learned from the text!


The students will then write books about how they have grown and changed!


Our last life cycle is that of the CHICKEN!!! This close read is part of KinderLiteracy Unit 8 Supplemental Weeks!  This week’s texts are shown below!

Below you can see the weekly vocabulary words, chicken labeling, life cycle and weekly poem!

The students will work on sequencing the life cycle!

The students will also write all about chickens!


This week’s craft!

Are you hatching eggs with your kiddos?

Thank you so much for joining me today and I hope to get the next set out to you SOON! 🙂



  1. Love the butterfly cycle plate. I have done this on a sentence strip as well. I colored my bow tie butterflies with rubbing acohol and neon food color just for extra cuteness!

Leave a Reply