Butterfly Life Cycle Debrief

Butterfly Life Cycle Debrief

This Debriefing Tool aids in discussion about Change.


There are four stages to the life cycle of a butterfly:  egg, larva, chrysalis, and butterfly. Groups/Individuals go through many stages throughout their experiences.  Using the stages of the butterfly can aid discussions around the different stages they are going through. 

This activity is much like the Caterpillar/Butterfly Debrief except it talks about the 4 stages of the butterfly.

Source:  A Teachable Moment, Cain, Cummings, Stanchfield.  Pg 66.

Props/materials needed:

There are a couple of different props that can aid in the visual and tactile impact of the activity.  There is a Caterpillar/Butterfly reversible puppet made by Folkmanis.  There is also a set of plastic pieces called the Butterfly Life Cycle stages. There are 4 small plastic pieces to the set that represent the 4 stages of the butterfly:  egg, larva, chrysalis, and butterfly.  The pieces are accurate replicas and are large enough to handle nicely.  You could also print off pictures of the four stages.


Demonstrate the miracle of metamorphosis and change with this ingenious reversible caterpillar/butterfly plush tool or the Butterfly Life Cycle set. 

  • The concept of change is a great concept to talk about with this activity.  Any group or individual going through a change can make comparisons between themselves and the stages of the butterfly.  Pass the tools around the circle as you talk about the different stages and let them look and touch them. 

Some things to talk about: 

  • Change takes time, it doesn't happen overnight, much like the caterpillar becoming a butterfly. 
  • Caterpillars come in different shapes and sizes.  Some are beautiful and furry, others are bald and deemed ugly. 
  • Butterflies come in different shapes, sizes, and colors. 
  • In the Caterpillar stage it takes a long time to get from place to place.  Once change takes place you can spread your wings and fly. 
  • For the caterpillar's change to take place, it has to go into a cocoon state, away from others for his change happen.  Much like a recovery center or counseling session.
  • For the butterfly to develop properly it must struggle out of the cocoon by itself.  If it receives any outside help it can cause the butterfly to abnormally develop and/or die.
  • A caterpillar is not recognized for what it used to be once it becomes a butterfly.   
  • For working teams use these four stages of in relation to:  Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing.   
  • For addictions groups:   You could use the pieces as representations for the different stages of recovery. 
  • For Religious groups:  Use the stages to talk about personal faith development 
  • For kids going through puberty:  Ain't change fun?   
  • For kids advancing to the next grade:  How will things be different next year?  New teachers, new classes, new friends, etc. 

Where to find it—How to make it? 

You can find this reversible puppet at science and nature stores..  You can also use clip art or find pictures of the different stages to share with your group.  Anything visual illustrations will work. 

Purchase from the Training Wheels store:  Caterpillar/Butterfly Debriefing Tool

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