Source: Sherman Publications

Butterflies take wing

May 25, 2011

Springfield Plains Elementary first graders laughed and smiled as the butterflies flew into the garden by their classes.

Since the butterflies were caterpillars, the students have watched them eat and grow larger as they went through their lifecycles from larva stage until they changed into a butterfly.

"First, they lived in tiny jars and ate leaves," said first-grader Matthew Ames. "When they turned into butterflies they ate sweet stuff like sugar water and oranges."

They also learned about metamorphosis (changing) throughout the lifecycle process.

"We read books, sang songs, and wrote poetry and stories about butterflies during this time," said first grade teacher Linda Linenger. "Each child kept a butterfly journal where they recorded observations and drew pictures of the various changes taking place throughout this process."

The project was funded by a grant from the Clarkston Foundation. They also received a grant from the Clarkston Farm and Graden Club to foster a love for plants and gardening in the students.

Books were purchased at the children's reading level about plants and gardens. They worked in the Literacy Garden that was started many years ago in memory of Kindergarten teacher Darcy Burleson, who passed away after a battle with cancer.

Before the butterflies were released, it was weeded, mulched and perennials were planted with help from volunteers.

~Staff Writer Wendi Reardon