Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fly Away Butterfly

Fly Away Butterfly....

It all began 2-3 weeks ago when some very tiny (about 1/4 in. long) caterpillars arrived in our classroom. They are the larva of "Painted Lady" butterflies. They arrive in a cup filled with their food and the children watch them eat and grow. Here they are a few days before they actually began building their cocoons at the top of the cup. They attach themselves to the piece of paper at the top. When everyone has developed into a cocoon (and are sound asleep ;) I remove the lid, take the paper and place it inside their lovely butterfly house where they will awaken.

After about 10 days to 2 weeks, they "magically" emerge as a beautiful painted lady butterfly. I used to put a container of sugar water with a paper towel "straw" for them to drink from but there were not a lot of opportunities for the children to see them feeding. Then I read that they liked oranges and wow, what a difference. First of all, oranges are so easy to manage and second, there is almost always a butterfly sitting on the oranges with their tongue going in and out enjoying the feast!

Because we have been having some fantastic weather, we took them outside on Thursday for the release. It is always exciting and sad at the same time. The lid is opened and....

they are ready to take flight! Sometimes they fly right away, occasionally they need a bit of coaxing. At times, they land on the students. This year, three flew away but this one landed on the finger of one of the girls. They gathered some flowers and enjoyed a few moments with the butterfly feeding from the flowers.

It was finally time to encourage it on so that it could take its place in the circle of life. What a wonderful way to learn about a tiny part of the world of insects!

I hope you all have a great week enjoying your place in this wonderful circle of life!


  1. Kim of Bitty Bits and Pieces also blogged about the butterfly release in her classroom. What a wonderful experience for children.

  2. Wow, what an incredible lesson for the students. They will never forget it - a delightful memory.

  3. What an awesome lesson for your students! I remember how excited my children were when their teacher taught them the life of of a butterfly.

  4. Don't kids love the butterfly?! I remember doing a butterfly gardern for my daughter's 6th birthday...she loved it!

  5. My sister does this every year for her day care kiddos. It's wonderful! What a great lesson. Take care!