Butterflies and Bugs: Summer Camp 2016

Teacher's Corner

Week 5 Lesson Plan

Here is a sampling of Maryland State standards met:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.K.2 With prompting and support, identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.

One girl brought in the current Diamondback UMD newspaper because it had a front page picture of the State's official insect, the Checker Spot butterfly. She asked that the article be read to the class. It was about a woman who was working to plant native plant species on campus and introduce the butterfly in hopes of increasing it's numbers.

CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.C.6 Identify whether the number of objects in one group is greater than, less than, or equal to the number of objects in another group, e.g., by using matching and counting strategies

Using the symmetry of butterfly wings, children created their own design that matched both sides of a felt butterfly. Patterning and counting were part of the process to make each side equal. Spacial recognition was strengthen in this exercise as well.

CCSS.Math.Content.K.MD.B.3 Classify objects into given categories; count the numbers of objects in each category and sort the categories by count.

Children created a graph of their favorite bugs. They wrote their name in the column that had the heading of their favorite. Afterward they analyzed the graph by counting the number of names under each category. Butterflies had the most!

Science 1A1c Use tools such as thermometers, magnifiers, rulers, or balances to extend their senses and gather data.

Campers use digital cameras to document field trips. Later these photographs will be used for a display showing aspects of learning throughout the summer.

Physical Education-1A1a Demonstrate locomotor skills including walking, jogging, running, galloping, hopping, and jumping.

Children have many opportunities to hone their locomotor skills. On days when the air quality is poor the Great Room is set up with mats and other equipment for children to use exercise their muscles.

Week 5

Painted Lady

This week the Painted Lady butterflies we raised were released! Children had been watching the caterpillars eat and grow for three weeks. They watched as they pupated and finally emerge from their chrysalis into beautiful little butterflies. The butterfly larvae was mail ordered from an online company called Insectlore. They come in a cup with all the food necessary for them to survive until they pupated (form a chrysalis). Once they form chrysalises they are transfered to a small net pop-up container for their next stage. There was great excitement when the first butterfly was noticed to have emerged after nap by one of the children. The butterflies were fed sugar water for a few days until all of the pupae had hatched. The whole process from pupa to adult took about one week. It was decided to let the butterflies go near the rain garden on the playground because there were many flowers there for them to sip nectar. When the cage was opened two of the butterflies flew off immediately, but not into the garden. A couple of the butterflies needed to be coaxed by the teacher's gentle hand.

To preface this activity, the book Caterpillar to Butterfly by Deborah Heiligman, was read. This story was not unlike the experience of the Yellow Room, about a class that raised some Painted Lady butterflies and in the end released them.

Mosquito Expert- Kasim George, a UMD graduate student, came to talk to the children about mosquitoes. He asked the children what they already knew about mosquitoes and how they could tell which bug was an insect. Yellow Room campers were anxious to share what they had learned about insects. A few of the original questions taken from the children at the beginning of the year showed that some children already knew that only the female mosquito bites. Mr. George explained that the female need the nutrients from blood to help them grow their eggs. Campers then learned that the male mosquitoes drink nectar, just like a butterfly! Mr. George went through the life cycle of a mosquito; egg- larvae- pupae- adult. This corresponded with many insects that the class had already focused on. Mr. George drew a picture of a male and female pupa to show that you can tell the gender of the pupa by features that look like a skirt for the females, and pants on the male. When Mr. George brought up the topic of what animals eat mosquitoes a boy responded that he had drawn a picture of a frog eating an insect. Mr. George invited him to share it and this started a chain reaction of other children sharing their insect journal entries. You can read more about Kasim George's research on malaria and mosquitoes at his Insect Genetics Technologies website page.

Image by Lea Ann MawlerBug Photographer- Lea Ann Mawler, the mother of one of the Yellow Room students, and a photographer hobbiest came in to share some of her photographs of insects with the children. See one of her images of a butterfly to the right. Ms. Mawler prefaced her talk with the fact that before she started photographing bugs she had not noticed the abundance of their diversity in her own backyard. This is perhaps the key element we wish to instill in the children this summer, the concept of taking a closer look at the environment around them. Ms. Mawler compared her camera to Ms. Wiest and showed the children how her lens was specifically designed to take close-up images of small things. One of Ms. Mawler's images captured the proboscis of a bee getting ready to sip nectar from a flower. Another picture was of an unusual caterpillar that sported a coat of long white fur with black spikes poking through here and there. Throughout the summer children have had an opportunity to capture their own images with point and shoot cameras belonging to the school and Ms. Mawler was an inspiration for everyone to enjoy this activity.

Brookside Garden's Flight of Fancy Exhibit - This field trip was perhaps the highlight of the summer's study. Brookside Garden is a magnificent destination just to view their numerous gardens with a huge variety of flowers that attract many different types of pollinators but they also have a special enclosed pavilion where a diverse variety of butterflies and moths are raised. One child, who had been there before, described walking into the pavilion as encountering, " A storm of butterflies". For some children this was overwhelming as the butterflies swooped and flew all around, close to the human spectators. Several children were lucky enough to have a butterfly land on them creating much excitement. Some children spotted eggs attached to the leaves of plants. Clipboards were brought for children to make observational drawings and they were able to take photographs if they chose. On the walk back through the gardens to the bus, the campers were able to explore Brookside Garden's Children's garden. Several structures were installed in the garden for children to climb in and enjoy. Although the day was a typical hot July day, it was most memorial despite the heat.

Culmination- Several discussions on how to show the parents what the campers had learned ensued. This group of students have already had an opportunity to experience a few studies over the past couple of years at the CYC. They know that a study starts with an assessment of what they already know, questions about the topic, and then investigations including field trips and field work, experts, books and other resources. They have also experienced the culmination of these studies. Some of their suggestions included writing a book, sharing photographs, making cards with insects on them, and having a "share fair". Because there were two large empty showcases in the Great Room, teachers encouraged children to think of a way to exhibit what they had learned within the cases. In the following last week of camp, children will begin and finish a display on Arthropods using their own choice of media to express their new found knowledge.