Painted Lady Butterflies
Our vision for Canada is… to educate young students in environmental science to increase their knowledge and deepen their understanding of the wildlife around them. The students observed the life cycle and release of the Painted Lady butterfly and documented their understandings with the support of their Grade 4 reading buddies as well as their teachers. Students who reside in the city have limited opportunities to explore living things, especially to witness first hand the stages of development of butterflies. They are only able to do this with the guidance of teachers, because its part of our provincial curriculum.
Our box of larvae arrived with great anticipation of what was inside. All of the students were fascinated with the size of the larvae and were eager to observe the change in size of each one, noticing that some larvae did not develop at the same rate as others. Watching the larvae make chrysalides and suspend from the top of the containers with a delicate web was especially appealing. Each day the students would look at the changes of the chrysalides after they were placed in our two tents. The students were excited to watch the butterflies emerge from the chrysalides one by one. They asked many questions about the red-colored liquid that was spattered all over the tents. Our day of release was filled with joy. The students had mixed feelings about releasing the butterflies. They were eager to allow each butterfly its freedom but all wished for the butterflies to remain close by and not fly away! This project provided our students with a deeper appreciation of how a butterfly develops and the importance of respecting living things in our environment. The students were afforded the opportunity to share their experiences with their buddies, teachers, and family. This experience made a big impact on the student’s appreciation for the fragility of life.
Reflection & Celebration
The delivery of the larvae was a week delayed due to a problem with the shipping request. Due to the rain,the weather was a factor in determining which date the butterflies could be released. We were successful in releasing 52 butterflies out of a possible 62. Another teacher on staff is committed to carrying on with the continued study of the life cycle of butterflies in her grade 2 class.