Slice of Life: Song of the Butterflies

A few weeks ago, I came around the corner in my hallway and this greeted me:

“These butterflies are so beautiful!”I said to the teacher. “They deserve to have poems written about them.” She agreed and invited me into her class to help her students write butterfly poems.

Laura Shovan’s fabulous onomatopoeia lesson was a great inspiration, but I wanted to focus the kids on the movement of butterflies. I found this poem, from Nibble, Nibble by Margaret Wise Brown, to get them thinking.

“Song of the Bunnies”

Bunnies zip
And bunnies zoom
Bunnies sometimes sleep tip noon





All through the afternoon

Zoom   Zoom   Zoom

This is the song of the bunnies.

After reading the poem several times, I asked the kids to close their eyes and imagine being a butterfly and think about how they would move. After a minute or two, they shared words with a partner, then we made a list. Several words from the bunny poem were shared, but they came up with great movement words, too. We brainstormed color words, adjectives, and they even came up with some similes.

Working together, we created this poem:

Butterflies float.
Butterflies glide.
Light as a feather,
blue as the sky.
Perched on a daffodil,
sipping sweet nectar.
Me, oh my!

After we were happy with the class poem, they set out to write their own butterfly poems. Some were having trouble getting started, so I suggested “Things to do if you are a butterfly…” as a prompt. (Thank you, Elaine Magliaro!)

Here are a few student poems:

If You Were a Butterfly…

If you were a butterfly, what would you do?
Would you glide like a bird,
or sail like a fly?
Or would you sip nectar,
just like a bee?

by C.B.


Butterflies flap,
butterflies flip,
light as a leaf,
nice and sweet,
red, blue, pink, and orange.
I love butterflies.
Do you?

by I.V.

Colorful butterflies
zip and zoom
they float and flutter
diving for food,
sipping nectar.

by E.O.

I am a chrysalis.
I look like I’m sleeping,
but I am changing,
waiting for my wings.

by Z.J.

If you are a butterfly
you can fly high
in the sky.
You can have
colorful wings, too.
You can find a daffodil
to get nectar.

by K.H.

Little butterflies.
Colorful butterflies,
flutter butterflies,
spying for daffodils,
feeling the wind
on its wings.
Using its proboscis.

by L.O.

Here is the door now, with all the butterflies and their poem:

 Thank you also to StaceyBetsyBeth, KathleenDeb, MelanieLisa and Lanny for creating this community and providing this space for teachers and others to share their stories each Tuesday. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts.

12 thoughts on “Slice of Life: Song of the Butterflies

  1. You took the first step after seeing that fabulous door, and created even more, Catherine. How wonderful the poems are and I love the smaller “first” one too.


  2. This is such an inspirational post. The first graders words are beyond magical! And thank you for sharing Margaret Wise brown’s poem about the bunnies. Love it!


  3. Love all these poems!!! Tell Z.J. I especialy love his poem and the final 2 lines:
    but I am changing,
    waiting for my wings.
    Tell him/her I printed it out and hung it up to read again and again. It reminds me to stay hopeful, something I need reminding to do at times. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is great! I especially liked that the teacher invited you in to help with writing of the poems, a mentor text was used, and the results were fantastic! I especially like the one about the Chrysalis. I am somewhat of a monarch expert, having worked to conserve their habitat and migration for over the last 13 years! The Chrysalis poem caputred the changes during the life cycle beautifully. And you reminded me that I still need to post some of my student’s color poems! Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I can hear the flutter of first grade poets as they write about butterflies. What a great lesson! Their poems are wonderful. I love the use of the word proboscis.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What lovely poetry they crafted to accompany those gorgeous butterflies. Well done! I just did the same thing with spring flowers my students painted in art class. I hung them up and, as lovely as they were, something was missing. Poetry! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s