Friday, May 24, 2024
The Robot and the Butterfly

The Robot and the Butterfly

by Mark Warner
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Ages: 7-11

A beautiful butterfly lands on the broken bars of a prison cell window. What will it find within?

Take care to view this video before using it with children. Some children might find the content upsetting.

Teaching Ideas and Resources:


  • Write the story of how the robot came to be in prison and how the bar got broken.
  • On the first viewing, stop the film at different points and ask the children to predict what will happen. For example, try stopping the film at 0:04, 0:13, 0:27 and 0:56.
  • The filmmaker originally gave this film the title “Freedom”. Which title do you prefer? Why? What other titles would work well for this film?
  • Write the story from the point of view of an onlooker in one of the other cells.
  • Create a list of vocabulary to describe the robot, and another for the butterfly. Compare the two lists. Do they share any words? Why do you think that is?
  • Make a comic strip based on the story.
  • Write some dialogue that the robot might say to the butterfly.
  • Create a non-fiction presentation about either robots or butterflies.
  • Have a discussion about why the robot acted as it did.
  • Collect verbs and adverbs to describe how the characters move.




  • Using Scratch, create a game where the butterfly tries to escape from the robot.
  • Animate a walking animal, like the butterfly on the robot’s hand.

Design Technology:

  • Try making your own robotic hand with simple supplies.



  • Discuss why the music stops.
  • Use percussion instruments to create a new soundtrack.


Physical Education:

  • Challenge children to move like the butterfly and then like the robot. How are the movements different? How does it feel to make those movements?


  • Learn the words for butterfly and robot in the language you are studying and in other languages. Which words are similar, and which ones are different?


  • Discuss why people sometimes act in strange or unkind ways. Why might they do that? How can we help someone who acts like that?

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