“Mama, this is so exciting”

Strange as it may seem, our journey in promoting technology in classrooms has been linked with Monarch butterflies. We were associated with a creative 2nd grade classroom teacher who was teaching her class about butterflies by hatching and rearing monarchs. We worked with the class to generate what became our “butterfly project”. This was back in the day of the early Macs, before cell phones with great cameras and K12 oriented software such as Kid Pix Studio. We captured images from video and created a slide show using ResEdit to take sound segments from Kid Pix allowing me to create what is now a slide show in Hypercard. Students learned about the life cycle of the butterfly, learned about different butterflies and narrated images for the slide show. This generated a presentation for parents. I remember the student presentation ended with a song about butterflies

We became Monarch caterpillar hunters ever since. We planted milk week at our lake property and still search for monarch caterpillars from time to time. We have spent some time this week driving the backroads of northern Wisconsin looking for milk week and these caterpillars. While we spent several hours over several days doing so, we found one (and one other milkweed moth).

One of our preschool grandchildren is very science oriented. We call him “Sid the science kid”. He knows a lot about dinosaurs and a lot about certain bugs. He helps his mom with her flowers and knows about pollinators. We gave him our caterpillar in hopes he would get to see the transformation to the chrysalis.

This video and the following image are courtesy of Sid’s mom. It did not take long for the transformation we had hoped for to happen. Sid was thrilled and as you can hear he knew exactly what was going on.

Now we wait.

As sometimes happen, I am reviewing the research on project-based learning and direct instruction with my grad class this week. I think I may include a description of the butterfly project (updated).