Welcome Back Monarchs!
Also available: The Inquiry Process

"Sighting Alert! On May 12th, Avocado Elementary's K/1 Magnet students received Monarch Butterflies migrating back from Mexico."

The students in K/1 Magnet (Ms. Delancy's Class) were elated to be among the many school children throughout North America and Canada who participated in a special science inquiry project called, "Journey North". The students and I marveled at the creativity, orginality and imagination that went into each butterfly's design. Seeing so many different variations was wonderful! When the students became very excited, I decided to write a "mini" integrated thematic unit to celebrate the arrival of our guests (the Monarchs).

At the end of our celebration, we sent the butterflies with return addresses on them back to their original origins. We wanted to continue on with the Monarchs migration process. The remaining butterflies were added to our butterfly tree cluster. The Monarach's, "Welcome Back" celebration was a huge success!

This unit was completed over a period of two weeks. It could have been much longer. However, I decided to keep it short. Its aim was to be the ending of a year's long process. If you like these ideas you can expand on them in anyway that is fitting for you and your class. Please drop me a note and share your ideas too. Have fun!!

Carol Ann Delancy -Avocado Elementary School (K/1 Magnet Teacher)

Welcome Back Thematic Unit

Reading/Language Arts-We discussed the migration of the Monarch Butterflies. The students then wrote short creative stories with the help of "Kids Works 2". Using their imagination they explained how the Monarchs were able to migrate to Mexico and not lose their way.

Mathematics-The students made graphs of the different kinds of Monarchs that we had received. They then recreated their favorite ones using pattern blocks. The students also did an activity from the "Thinking Fountain" on bilateral symmetry.

Butterflies on Nose

Balancing butterflies on our noses (click to enlarge)

Social Studies- The students discussed and charted the possible routes that the Monarchs could have traveled migrating back from Mexico. They also discussed the routes that the Monarch might take continuting their migration on to Canada. They marked their assumptions on a map. The children were asked to keep in mind the Monarchs having to stop for food and rest.

Science-The students became very curious about how air moves. Many felt that somehow Monarchs use the wind to navigate their way during their migration. This lead to our doing several science experiments to investigate the properties of air. We also viewed the Miami Museum of Science-Hotlist site. It has many neat address locations that pertain to space and earth science. See our overvi ew to find out what we learned.

Art-Each students was given a butterfly pattern to color in creatively and decorate as desired. After they were done, we tacked the finished Monarchs to a wall mural of a tree. We tried to simulate the behaviors that the "real" butterflies displayed in Mexico. The students also made, "The Thinking Fountain's-Butterfly Optical Illusions".

Music and Movement-The students sang and did movements to the songs: The Butterfly and Air, Air Everywhere. (Sing and Learn: (copyright1989) Developed by Macmillan Educational Company

Singing a butterfly song

Sing along with us! (click to enlarge)

Web Sites That We Found Useful

The Butterfly Web Site Picture Galleries

Monarch Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly Migration Image

Monarchs Endangered

Scienc e Museum of Minnesota-Now you see it...

Monarchs & Migration

"NASA" Take Off! Aviation Science Activities for Elementary Grades

Miami Museum of Science-Hotlist

Symmetry-Sci ence Museum of Minnesota

Additional Photos

Kids viewing Butterfly Web Site Picture Galleries

Kids viewing Monarch Butterfly Migration Images

Students practice the movements to the Butterfly Songs

Students working on their creative stories about Butterflies

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