Saturday, June 08, 2013
It's been another busy spring as the children witnessed metamorphosis in the classroom. First fifteen Painted Lady larvae had to be separated and placed in individual cups and fed with artificial food. Two were later moved to potted holly hocks so the children could observe how many leaves the caterpillars could munch in a day.
Soon the caterpillars hung from the lids or leaves in J-shape and turned into chrysalises (or chrysalides). Then two butterfly houses had to be made for a better viewing of the butterflies hatching each day. The next job was to ensure there was food, water with sugar and food coloring or fresh fruits, as it had been too cold and rainy for the butterflies to set out on their own.
As for the kids’ part, they had to report their daily observations which included “accidents” that needed fixing: butterfly turned over in the sweet mixture and couldn’t go back up, wings got stuck together, butterfly on the loose, butterfly lost and found, butterfly under the shelf cabinet, etc. In return for being vigilant, the kids were treated to a UCAP (up close and personal) experience where a butterfly was placed on their hat, head, shirt, arm, finger, etc. They loved how the legs tickled them, especially their noses…
When the sun finally shone for three days, batches of butterflies were warmed up on the window sill before they were released outside where the sweet lilacs and other spring blossoms were a treat. The children were sad to let go but they understood that the "ladies" didn't belong in the classroom. Now that the school year is over and each child is asked about the best thing about Kindergarten, the unanimous response is "I learned about butterflies." Truly, raising butterflies in the classroom is the most demanding project in Kindergarten, using all my time and gas and energy, but it remains to be the most exciting and memorable experience both for myself and my children, who seemed to have morphed into geniuses eager to move on and become scientists, engineers, etc. Sadly though, nobody wants to be a teacher. Should I even ask why? Enjoy the butterflies! Jamison/07/06/2013