As part of a science unit on animal and plant life cycles and traits, Tina Harris’ Grade 3 class in Lenape Elementary School watched five caterpillars grow bigger and bigger as they ate lots of food and then changed into their chrysalis stage. They emerged as butterflies, and the class let them go free in the school garden. One by one they hesitantly found their way to the opening of their mesh home and then, when ready, each one flew away. The class had given them names and said goodbye to each one. The last one lingered for a while, and they worried about it. Maybe it wasn't ready to go yet, they said. Maybe it was hurt or weak, in need of nectar. Concerned, students watched it drink from a flower, freed it from a place on a plant on which it looked stuck and then cheered as it finally flew away. Many were sad as they walked back into school. One student comforted another student and said, "Now we know what it is like to be parents."
Lenape Elementary School: Eugene L. Brown Drive, New Paltz, NY Mailing Address: 196 Main Street, New Paltz, NY 12561
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