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The Wonder of Nature: Raising Monarchs

Posted by: Rhonda September 13, 2016

Every morning in September begins with an animated cluster of kids and parents around the terrarium in our classroom, excitedly observing what transpired in the night. “Look, Daddy, now it’s chewed up the whole leaf!” “Oh, that big one is crawling to the top, it’s gonna make a chrysalis!” “It’s turned black! I can see the wing inside!”. . . The wonder and excitement is contagious.

Raising monarch caterpillars—from hunting for eggs on milkweed leaves to the ceremonial release of the butterflies—is an activity that never loses its thrill. Watching and waiting for the dramatic metamorphosis is an unforgettable experience for both students and their parents. Yes—the parents! As one center director related: “our parents, dressed for work in their suits and ties, could hardly tear themselves away from our classroom, as they so wanted to watch a butterfly hatch out. That’s the power of nature!”

Last year, one of the dads—an amateur videographer—became completely captivated by the caterpillars and spent hours in the classroom patiently videoing their life cycle. Here is a highly condensed version of his footage that he has agreed to share with you. Watch & wonder here.