Thursday, March 25, 2010

Oh, Majestic Monarch Butterflies, Where are You? Haven't Spotted You Yet...

Clip Art Courtesy Karen's Whimsy  Public Domain Images...thank you to Karen's Whimsy.

Well, the migration from Mexico to all points North is taking place now. The orange, black, and white beauties have been spotted in Texas and Louisiana and are making their way to the Sunshine State.

Excited, as that means any day now, we should see some making their way here.
Their migration depends on Milkweed and if I am correct, there are milkweed plants nearby our hopefully, we will be able to either see some butterflies or to spot their eggs on the milkweed.

Big Bro has been very interested in creepy crawlies and fiesty flyers, as we are referring to them.
Little Bro, well he's kinda interested...likes the idea of butterflies much better than some others, such as bees and ants. Hopefully, learning about butterflies will make him more curious and less afraid of insects. He had a bit of a scare last year with ants, as a few of them managed to find their way to the inside of his life jacket. He had taken the jacket off to use the potty and when he put it back on, the ants went to town and really tore up his back! So, we have not really mentioned that ants and butterflies are both insects, as I worry that he might become afraid of butterflies...and that would just be sad, as butterflies are so beautiful. 

I have done butterfly projects with children before, but usually, it has involved raising Painted Lady Butterflies from eggs in a classroom setting.

Following the Monarch Butterfly Migration Project is going to be something new and interesting.
The website, Journey North has a wonderful set up for children. The pages include a Teacher's guide, booklets, slide shows, web cams, life cycle information, seasonal information (as it relates to the Monarchs), and a very neat collaborative project called Symbolic Migration.

Their deadline to participate for this school year has passed, as the project follows the fall migration to Mexico rather than the Spring migration to the U.S. and Canada.

But since the Monarchs are making their way to Florida soon, I figured that I would at least mention the fall project and hopefully get some photos of butterflies that we will be able to save and to send in the fall.

Clip Art Courtesy Karen's Whimsy  Public Domain Images...thank you to Karen's Whimsy.
Karen's Whimsy also has many other lovely butterflies pictures here.

Each child that participates is to make a flat butterfly, preferably out of recycled paper. There are several other requirements and the project s open to homeschoolers as well as children attending school outside the home, whether private, Montessori, public, name it.

Here s a video link about the region in Mexico where the butterflies like to hang out for the winter:
Video: Mexico and Monarch Butterflies

I have several free printables related to butterflies that will work great in a homeschool or classroom. Just have to get them to link so hopefully, will get these posted over the weekend when Dear Hubby is here to give me some computer help if / when  I need it...

In the meantime, here are some neat links related to butterflies, with some  of them containing free printables related to butterflies:

 Mama Jenn's Butterfly Matching
Mama Jenn explains how they made their matching activity into a file folder game. You could also use this format, which seems to work just great on its own, or you may want to make it into a Montessori work, using the laminated butterflies on a tray, and then, preparing a control of error chart for the child to refer to when they have matched the butterflies.

Butterfly Art Project, using bingo dabbers from Mommy Moment
A neat butterfly art project was featured here as part of their Work of Art Wednesday.

Montessori three part cards for Butterfly life cycle from Montessori Mom
These cards feature the Black Swallowtail butterfly. Make two sets if you want to do them as three part cards.

Printable Animal Cards: Butterflies

Florida Butterfly Garden video
This was featured in the Gainesville Explorer.

Cornell Box Sample, made by a Montessori Student at the Rogers  Park Montessori School
This was made by a student from the 6-9 classroom. Features various things found in nature, including part of a butterfly. For more information on modern artist, Joseph Cornell, or to learn about Cornell boxes, click here.

Jolanthe's Homeschool Creations 
Jolanthe gives a description of what her family has done with respect to butterflies. Reading her blog entry might also give you some ideas.

 Life Cycle of a Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly Paper Airplanes
For all of the children who love to make paper airplanes...these are really beautiful and fun to take outside.

Nature Detectives
This website is out of the U.K. It features a variety of nature activities, including some butterflies of Europe cards and coloring sheets. If you happen to live in Europe or if you are planning a trip to Europe in the Spring, there is a neat sheet to keep track of the butterflies you spot. 

Crafty Crow Butterflies Art Projects
All kinds of cool art projects related to butterflies, some just for fun...some more as Montessori work.

Butterflies of the World by Montessori Mom 

My Monarch Butterfly Garden by Tom Lears
A lovely video with nice accompanying piano music.

C is for Caterpillar
Another neat work from Confessions of a Homeschooler.

Concertina Fold Butterflies Free Printable from Kids Craft Weekly

The Emergence of a Monarch 

How to Make a Butterfly Garden by Montessori Mom
Great idea on how to make a container garden that will attract butterflies. We are going to try this...will post photos to let you know how it works for us...

Butterfly World for Kids
This lovely park is in Coconut Creek Florida. This link made especially by them for their young visitors features a picture of butterflies, as well as a coloring book.

Neat Monarch butterfly organization
(MonarchWatch.Org) with lots of links

Art Projects from Butterfly School
This site has some neat art projects related to butterflies, including making the butterfly life cycle using different pasta shapes.

Butterfly Website
Features all kinds of links, including video clips, photos, clip art, lessons for young children, arts and crafts ideas.

Great list of books and butterfly kits from Shining Dawn Books , Nature Explorer

The chart below is directly from the Journey North Symbolic Migration Project website and gives you a quick overview of the steps involved in participating in the project...let's just say that we can't wait to get to participate next fall but will make our own impromptu version of making symbolic butterflies once we see them around our neck of the woods.

You will print, make, and mail these 4 pieces to send your symbolic monarchs to Mexico:


Mo said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. I'm adding you to my blogroll for certain!

Kind regards,
Twitter: @holistichmskl
Twitter: @MontessoriMo

The Sunshine Crew said...

Will add you to mine as well. Your blog has some great ideas! I don't tweet yet, as I am still getting the hang of blogging.

Leptir (Nataša) said...

Thanks for all the great resources. I've made a booklet about monarch life cycle (end of the post):

The Sunshine Crew said...

Thanks for sharing about your booklet. Looks really nice!

Leptir (Nataša) said...

Thanks :-)

Leptir (Nataša) said...

Oh, and thanks for putting my link here :-)

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