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In this new Chipo’s Gift “glyph” activity, two species of moths will be compared and contrasted


Art, Language Arts, Math, Science  


K, 1, 2, 3  

Title – Butterfly and Moth Glyph
By – Deborah Troehler
Primary Subject – Science
Secondary Subjects – Art, Language Arts, Math
Grade Level – K-3
Time Necessary – 1 hour


      The following lesson activity accompanies the author’s book

Chipo’s Gift

      , a story about an inquisitive mopane worm from South Africa that takes a chance and follows her dreams. A portion of the sale of this book will be donated to Beautiful Gate Ministries Aids Orphanage in Lesotho, South Africa. The book may be purchased through
      For a previously posted thematic unit on

Chipo’s Gift

      by Deborah Troehler see:

ChiposGiftThematicUnitK2 Objectives:

    Students will use prior knowledge and gather additional information to:

    • Make predictions about characteristics of moths or butterflies
    • Compare and contrast species of moths or butterflies
    • Demonstrate their understanding of symmetry by creating a balanced picture of a moth or butterfly.
    • Create and interpret a glyph

Supplies Needed:


      • A Golden Guide Butterflies & Moths (page 99): information regarding wild silk moths (polyphemus)
      • Moths by Sophie Lockwood (page 30): information regarding mopane moths (gonimbrassia belina)
      • Chipo’s Gift by Deborah Troehler


      • construction paper
      • list of characteristics
      • gluesticks
      • scissors
      • pre-punched construction paper shapes in four styles
      • sample blank butterfly bases in two colors


      The sample butterfly was created using pre-punched construction paper shapes. If desired, the students can color shapes on their butterflies/moths.


  1. Without identifying the names, show the students photos of the wild silk moth and the mopane moth.
    • Ask the students to make statements about how the moths are similar or different.
    • Possible responses: both brown, both have fake eyes on their wings, both have wavy lines at the edge of their wings, etc.
    • Discuss where the moths live (North America and South Africa), explaining that the story they are about it hear, Chipo’s Gift , is about a moth that lives in South Africa.
  2. Tell the students that they will be making predictions about the two types of moths and their life cycles. They will use their predictions to create a moth out of pre-punched paper shapes.
    • Remind the students that when they make their predictions, it will be okay if their prediction ends up being incorrect and that by the end of the story, they will know the correct choices.
    • See example photo below :

    • The photo shows the correct responses, to be shown at the END of the activity.
  3. Explain concept of symmetry. As step 4 is completed, model how they will create their butterfly/moth with a teacher sample.
  4. Students will select paper and pre-punched paper shapes based on their predictions:
    • By looking at pictures of both moths, students will select a piece of construction paper based on their choice.
      If they believe the mopane moth is on the left, then they will get a green piece of paper; if they believe the mopane moth is on the right, they will get a yellow piece of paper.
    • What does the mopane caterpillar look like (show photos of both caterpillars-online or book source) :
      6 purple flowers for green, brown, & black caterpillar; 6 pink flowers for mainly green caterpillar
    • How many eggs are laid :
      4 green teardrops for 50 to 200 eggs; 4 orange teardrops for 2 to 3 eggs
    • How does the mopane caterpillar eat :
      8 red circles for eats alone; 8 blue circles for eats in groups
    • Where does the mopane caterpillar undergo metamorphosis (change into a moth) :
      4 blue wings for changes in trees; 4 orange wings for changes underground

    Hint: as the students receive the samples, remind them to place their choices on their butterfly bases in a design they like, but remind them to keep them balanced. See photo below: a student’s sample in progress.

  5. Students will glue their pre-punched paper shapes onto their butterfly bases and turn them face down while the story is being read.
  6. Before reading the story to the students, remind them that ALL of the answers are found in the book; they need to listen AND look at the pictures. Read the story Chipo’s Gift . Each time an answer is revealed, ask students to repeat that fact.

    Example: Before even beginning the book, some students may realize that the mopane moth is green, brown, and black based on the cover illustration.

  7. After reading the story, place the students’ butterflies in the center of the table with the key (photo from step 2) and discuss their predictions.

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