Butterfly Raising and Release
Our vision for Canada is that more people will become aware of the damage we are doing to our planet and will make changes to support the environment.
Working in education offers a unique opportunity to to help mold a new generation of humans who we hope will better understand the broader impact personal lifestyle choices have on humanity and community. In the Library Learning Commons we are able to reach the entire student body when running initiatives. We tackled an environmental project this year. It has long been acknowledged that the Monarch Butterfly population has decreased significantly in the last 20 years. There are several reasons for this including climate change, but more importantly the loss of the Monarch’s sole food source: the Milkweed plant.
One of the ways we can assist this declining species is to raise awareness about butterfly habitats and food sources.
We raised Painted Lady butterflies from caterpillar through the adult stage. Students learned about the growth cycle, stages of development, habitat, and resources. Students were able to see these creatures up close and were able to learn through inquiry and questions. Students learned about why it is important to protect butterflies and how they can help. The butterflies were visible in the library in all their stages. Students helped with the care and keeping, and helped with making the seed bottles. Bottles of milkweed seed were given to students to plant at home or school.
Reflection & Celebration
We especially wanted to raise Monarch butterflies because of the major decline in the population but were unable to do so because of the cold spring we had. Even so, this was a very educational project. Students asked many questions and were excited to learn about the butterflies and why were doing this project. Two classes visited the butterflies daily to see what stage they were at and created class units to go along with our project. One class created a rap song and butterfly themed art. Students were invited to see the butterflies released and everyone commented on how enjoyable the experience was. We hope to make this an annual project. We added bug houses to our courtyard to encourage these wonderful insects to stick around. The more awareness the better!