Caring for the Earth, Caring for Ourselves

Young children understand what it means to be a good friend. Talk with them about being a good friend. Write their  suggestions on the board.

  • How do you treat good friends?
  • Can caterpillars and other animals be our friends?
  • Look at how much the Earth gives us. Can the Earth be our friend?
  • How would the Earth like to be treated?
  • What can we do to help them?

Caring for living things in the classroom is a wonderful opportunity to learn that:

  • All living things have needs
  • Children can understand the needs of other living things
  • Children can take action & help with the needs of others

1 – All living things have needs.

Every child understands their own need for food, shelter and care. And every living thing also has needs. We are all connected.

2 – Students can understand the needs of other living things.

Caring for living things teaches your students that we all have unique needs. Not everyone’s needs are the same. What is good for a child might not be good for a plant. The care of a seedling is different than the care of an insect.

3 – They can take action & help with the needs of others.

Students want to interact and be involved with the living things around them. Checking to see if plants need water or if the caterpillars are becoming chrysalises builds a child’s confidence and understanding. They learn about responding to what is needed and offering to help.

Teaching Students How to Care for Caterpillars

Observing caterpillars in your classroom is a great way to teach children about the pollinators that we depend on for food. Day by day, they observe how the caterpillars grow and change. They can see them eating their food. It is practical experience in understanding the needs of others and learning how to help.

Sending My Butterfly Journal home at the end of the school year gives the children an opportunity to share what they learned with their families. Being responsible to care for plants and pollinators is a good ‘job’ even for young children.