Sunday, May 13, 2007

Butterfly presentations

It has been a long time since I blogged. I have just been too busy doing butterfly presentations at Franklin Elementary School in Oakland. Each presentation was only an hour, but getting the insects ready, copying the art project, and making sure I had all the props took some time each day. I was hired to do 20 presentations, and now I am done. Each class received a egg to hatch into a caterpillar. I hope at least some of classes are able to release a butterfly before the school year ends.

The pictures above are of Andy showing live specimens to the kids. This is the best part of the program. The kids are always excited to see live eggs, caterpillars and chrysalids up close. Sometimes we are even surpised by a butterfly that decides to emerge, and the students get to see all four stages.

The program begins with a quick overview of metamorphosis. Then I show the lifecycle video. After that I talk about how to raise a caterpillar. Then I show the kids the art project. We did several this time: ridged egg, caterpillar, and symetrical butterfly. While the kids are doing the art project, small groups visit the specimen table to see the live insects. Then I wrap up by talking about my favorite form of urban wildlife, butterflies.

It is always much more fun when I have company, and I am always delighted when Andy can join me. This time he helped with about half a dozen presentations. Everything goes so smoothly when he helps.

Franklin school was fun, but I am glad it is over. I have to get ready to teach a class at Albany Adult School.