Set Them Free For the End of the Year

You know that feeling.  The end of the year feeling.  No, I'm not talking about the craziness and the chaos and the go, go, go. (Although that is very true too!) I am talking about the realization that those little darlings that you taught all year, are ready to spread their wings and move on to a brand new classroom next year.  While you may have had trials and tribulations all year, you know in your heart how much your students - each and every one - mean to you.  I recently read some writing by a fifth grade student on butterflies and it inspired me so much.  That's what I love about teaching. It's not just the teacher teaching the students, it's the students teaching you and leaving an impact on you.  This year, why not plan a little "release" of your little butterflies to inspire them to be unique and confident to approach a new year knowing that they are special?

I came across this new book and loved the impact that it has on seeing the beauty in everything and celebrating the uniqueness of each individual student.  What a great way to send your students off for the summer!  The book is called Butterfly Park by Elley Mackay.  The paintings are absolutely beautiful.  The little girl moves to a new town.   She had moved from a nice little town to one full of horns and noises.  Even her house was gloomy grey like all the rest of them.She sees a place called Butterfly Park but there are no butterflies in it.  Through acts of kindness and themes of community and friendship, she attracts butterflies to the park.  The uniqueness and simple nature of each butterfly makes her feel happy.  Butterflies have freedom and they are can fly high.  It really made me think of my students.

So I created this little craft for students to make and take home on their last day of 2nd grade to remind them that they are unique and special and when they are "released" on the last day, they have developed wings to be who they are and continue to grow next year.

"Learning this year
gave me wings,

To do anything
next year brings."

It's perfect if you taught students about growth mindset this year.

You can even have a face decorating end of the year party if you or anyone you know is creative and artistic.

                                                      (photo credit Nadine Davidson)

First, pick up some glittery felt squares from the dollar store. You can get 2 butterflies on 1 felt square.

Trace the image lightly then cut around leaving 1 inch around to show the glitter.  I cut around the antennae into a heart shape. You can pick up the freebie here.

Prepare to either have some ribbon and a single hole punch to hang it or a piece of magnetic tape so that students can hang it on their fridge.

Finish by coloring the butterfly and hanging as desired.

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