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Monday, November 15, 2010

Monarch Maddness!

Sunny, warm, and a cool breeze; today was a perfect day to enjoy the garden and in my opinion, one of the most fun lessons yet! This week we are studying the cycle of a butterflies' life. We all gathered around and discussed the four stages: egg to caterpillar to cocoon to butterfly! Once we got the cycle down, the fun could begin. Last week, several classes let Monarch butterflies loose that they had been observing in their classrooms. With our luck, the butterflies have made our Edible Peace Patch into their new home! They love all the wild flowers and Florida Friendly flowers.
After putting on our imaginary "Garden Goggles", good listening ears, our "Careful Garden Hands", and our "Quiet Garden Voices", the students went out into the garden and observed some of the butterflies fluttering around. We also found a cocoon hanging from the Crape Myrtle tree so we will have to keep an eye on that over the next few weeks and see what happens. Once the lesson was shared, we reinforced it in the students minds with an exciting game called "Evolution". Starting out as an egg, each student has a partner that they play rock paper scissors with. Whoever wins "evolves" into a Caterpillar. The game keeps going round and round until you go through the entire cycle. Once the cycle is complete you start over again as a level two. Once the students got a hang of the game, there were several make-believe butterflies, caterpillars, eggs, and cocoons wiggling around the garden with lots of giggles and excitement. We finished up the day by having a quick re-cap of what we learned to day with a lot of repetition. The concept of the butterflies metamorphosing really seemed to click with the kids today and I know it was something they really enjoyed!

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