Ms. Julie and Ms. Bonnie’s EI Classes Raise and Release Monarch Butterflies.

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The children wave to the Monarchs. Tears were shed!

A number of E1 classrooms have been raising monarch butterflies and this week they have been emerging from their chrysalises! We were able to purchase monarch eggs from a business in Pennsylvania, and this allowed the children to witness the entire process of metamorphosis, from egg to caterpillar (also called a larva) to chrysalis (also called a pupa) to butterfly.

Julie and Bonnie’s class engaged in an in-depth study of the monarchs, that included a shared writing activity that resulted in a long narrative, written from the point of view of the caterpillar, pupa, and butterfly, as it grew and changed form. Children kept journals where they chronicled their observations, enjoyed singing a monarch butterfly song, learned new vocabulary, acted out the life cycle, read and made books about monarchs, and made life cycle posters, reports, and even head bands showing the life cycle.

If you ask us what any of the following words mean, we’d be happy to tell you!  metamorphosis, chrysalis, silk button, migrate, pupa, transparent, larva, journey, life cycle, abdomen, fluid, proboscis, nectar.

This project culminated in releasing the monarchs, one by one, after we’d made wishes for their well-being. We talked about being happy and sad at the same time, and there were a few tears shed as they took off for their journey south!

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Ms. Julie reading about Monarchs to the children. “How will you feel when you release the butterflies” she asked. “Both sad and happy.” the children replied.

 

The Monarchs. Ready to go!

The Monarchs. Ready to go!

 

The children gather and make wishes for the butterflies on their new journey.

The children gather and make wishes for the butterflies on their new journey.

 

Out in the world.

Out in the world.

 

Up, up and away!

Up, up and away!