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Creating Monarch Habitat
Texarkana, Arkansas
Kilpatrick Elementary describes their year of learning:

Here are of some our students in the garden looking for larva. The potted plant is one that we rooted from cuttings we took from plants that were growing in the outdoor classroom last fall. We are getting ready to plant it again. The small bed was just planted this spring from over-wintered plants and has already produced some of our larva. The larger bed has been there for a few years. Some of the plants over-wintered outside and others we transplanted from rooted cuttings. The students and teachers are free to go into the outdoor classroom anytime they want. We try to bring larva into the classrooms for them to observe, but we also leave most of the larva outside and let nature take its course.

Our computer lab is equipped with OX5 digital microscopes. We use them with the first through fourth grade students to study eggs and small larva. The students one year photographed an egg every day until it hatched and then took pictures of the larva until it was too big for the microscope. We then moved to a video camera set up on a tripod and recorded the caterpillar until it made its chrysalis. We watched closely until the chrysalis was dark and then recorded on time lapse until it emerged, stretched its wings and was ready to fly away. We took it outside and released it.

We use the Monarch Teacher Network video "Journeys and Transformations" when we begin our monarch studies in the fall. School starts here in mid-August so we have time to bring more larva into the classroom and watch the life cycle. These butterflies emerge in time for us to tag them through the Monarch Watch program and send them on their way to Mexico. It is then time to make the Symbolic Monarchs and the cycle just keeps going from there.

We have also just received a packet from Dr. Sonia Altizer of the University of Georgia to check for OE on the monarchs in our area. None of this would be possible without the connections to our outdoor classroom.

Anita and Mike Brisco
Hands on Science/Computer Lab

Students in Kilpatrick Garden


Students in Kilpatrick Garden
Students in Kilpatrick Garden
Students in Kilpatrick Garden