In what has become an annual event, students in Friends Community School’s 1/2 released their monarch butterflies on Monday. Some 3/4 students couldn’t resist joining in.
The 1/2 students have been nurturing the monarchs since the larvae stage, and in the process, learning about science, geography, and community. They found the larvae in FCS’s milkweed garden, brought the insects into their classroom butterfly house, then used the school's milkweed to feed the insects as they grew and molted. When the larvae were about the size of a second grader’s little finger, they shed their skin to display jade-green chrysalises. After about 10 days of checking every morning, the 1/2 students discovered butterflies emerging, ready to start on a 3,000-mile-long journey to Mexico.
FCS teacher Sandy Stein has been incorporating the monarchs into her 1/2 curriculum for the past 10 years. The timing works well for developing community in her classroom at the start of the school year. “The monarchs are wonderful educators,” Sandy says. “They spark the children’s natural curiosity, their ability to learn, and their desire to tell everyone what they know.”
On their last morning with their classroom monarchs, students in Sandy’s 1/2 used movement to re-enact the life-cycle of the “super butterflies.” They migrated through the school hallway to their “oyamel tree” on the playground. The 3/4 students on the playground joined in. With Sandy’s guidance, together the students had a moment of quiet reflection for the monarchs, then released them for their journey to Mexico.
Watch the student "super butterflies" and the monarchs take flight yesterday in the video below.
Located in College Park, MD, Friends Community School is a progressive Quaker K-8 day school, founded on the belief that every child is a valued member of our community. We offer a challenging curriculum imbued with strong values of equality, integrity, community, environmental stewardship, simplicity and peaceful conflict resolution, rooted in our Quaker heritage.
Friends Community School 5901 Westchester Park Drive College Park, Maryland 20740 301-441-2100