Van Allen Second graders have been learning about insects this fall. We were very fortunate to discover a monarch caterpillar on a milkweed leaf in mid October. We created a habitat for the caterpillar and studied its every move. One Thursday afternoon, the caterpillar surprised us and crawled to the top of the habitat, spun some silk, and made a “j” with its’ body. The next morning, we were delighted to see a beautiful green chrysalis with a tiny row of gold at the top. The caterpillar went through the stages of Metamorphosis and eight days later, emerged as a beautiful Monarch butterfly.
We were so excited to see the Monarch, but we needed to know…Was it a girl or a boy? After looking for spots on its’ wings, we decided that there weren’t any. So, it was a GIRL! We named her Bella. We learned about how butterflies migrate to Mexico. When the temperature was the warmest in the day, we released her to nature. We said good-bye to her next to our sunflowers in the sunflower house.
The weather has turned cold now. The sunflowers have died, and the Monarchs are gone. We continue to study all kind of insects and are looking forward to spring when we will see them again.