Friday, September 04, 2015

Poetry Friday -- Butterflies



Before
by Avis Harley

The butterfly was there
before any human art was made.
Before cathedrals rose in prayer,
the butterfly was there.




It's been such an amazing experience to have monarch caterpillars, chrysalises and butterflies in our classroom for the past two weeks! They were given to us by one of our building's paraprofessionals, whose mother collected the caterpillars and hung the chrysalises in nifty solo cup viewers. The last of the caterpillars started to make its J today and I overheard one of my students say, "I could just sit here and watch all day!" Another student caught the caterpillar's last voracious eating on video on one of the iPads yesterday. We haven't stopped marveling at the beauty of the chrysalises. Why the gold dots? There seems to be no scientific explanation. Nature just goes out of its way to be beautiful!

If I'm understanding what I have read here, our butterflies might be fourth generation monarchs, the ones who will migrate to Mexico to hibernate for the winter before flying back to start the cycle all over again. This is as much of a miracle as the metamorphosis and the gold dots. What an amazing world this is!

Linda has the Poetry Friday roundup at TeacherDance.

14 comments:

  1. There is no end to the fascination over this process. It's one of nature's miracles. I love that your students are getting first hand experience with the changing butterflies. I'm sure there will be a grand release party.

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  2. Really *watching* closely, marveling ... sounds like you have budding poets on your hands!

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  3. How lucky to be able to witness this miracle -- again, wish I could be in your class. :)

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  4. You may want to participate in this! I had my class do this a number of years. We sent paper monarchs to Mexico through this organization. The children and people of Mexico used to kill the Monarchs who winter there because they thought they were harming the trees. It has been a good educational resource for all children.
    https://www.learner.org/jnorth/sm/ Deadline for participating is October 9. It was a wonderful experience for my first graders and would be for any ages, the older the more involved.

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  5. Between you and Buffy, it makes me want to start the milkweed plants and try to raise some, Mary Lee. How wonderful that you're doing this here at the beginning of the year.

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  6. Amazing science lesson to boot! We had a stand of milkweed plants growing outside our library and then one day the town maintenance people came and mowed it down. It was heartbreaking.

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  7. What a great way for your students to start their journey with you! Yes, these caterpillars should be migrating to Mexico. From what I read, they are either the third or fourth generation (varies depending on length of growing season.) There's lots of good info on monarchwatch.org

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  8. Oh what a treat for your students, Mary Lee! And Harley's poem puts life into perspective "before any human, art was made". Lovely. =)

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  9. What a great poem! And I so enjoyed reading your commentary, too, Mary Lee. The world IS a fascinating and beautiful place when you take the time to look. I'm glad to hear (though not surprised) that your students are discovering that first hand.

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  10. A magical poem to go with a magical experience. I could watch them all day too! :-)

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  11. Isn't it wonderful that the chrysalis is as beautiful as the butterfly? Neither lasts long, either, which is not sad, really, but glorious, in that beauty just is---and doesn't need a reason to come or go... I'm so glad there are classrooms of watchers, too. :)

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  12. I think the process that your students are witnessing is a wonder of nature and such a treat. From start to finish your young scientists will be able to record and hopefully write wonderful poems using Harley's poem as a mentor text. Theme: Transformation ???

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  13. The lifecycle of a butterfly is a very beautiful thing. Even better when shared with the very young. :)

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  14. All the schools I know do the butterfly thing in the spring. How lucky you and your students are to BEGIN the year with this fascinating transformation--an advertisement for what can happen when kids eat right all year and take time to rest peacefully within the chrysalis of a classroom.

    And thanks for the flint comment. I DID NOT know that it's related to the "pretty" gems and will be educating myself along with my students!

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