Bye-Bye, Butterflies

Morse Elementary students have different reactions to a Painted Lady butterfly they raised then released on Wednesday.
(photo by Rodney Curtis/School Life Troy)

Nature was nurtured at Morse Elementary.

Four Painted Lady butterflies were raised by the students who knew the growth stages by heart. Outside, during their release (the butterflies, not the students), second-grade teacher Lauren Cooper asked the throng:

What was first? Egg! the students answered.
What was second? Larva!
And then what? Pupa!
And now a? Adult butterfly

Jennifer Hilzinger points out parts of a butterfly to 4th-graders Jasmine Li and Julia Cywla. (photo by Rodney Curtis/School Life Troy)

Two 4th-grade writers wrote a poem. “We’ve been talking about releasing our butterflies for a couple days,” explained Jennifer Hilzinger, ELD para. “When you’re writing poetry, you want to write about something you feel something about, so you can relay that feeling.”

A child is like a butterfly in the wind.
Some can fly higher than others.
But each one flies the best it can.
Why compare one to another?
Each one is different.
Each one is special.
Each one is beautiful.
— Jasmine Li & Julia Cywla,
     Morse 4th-graders

Hilzinger explained more about butterflies to the students. “When these butterflies come out, they might be a little weak because they’ve only been in this cage their whole life,” she said.  Then “Notice I’m not touching their wings because their wings are scales, like fish. You can rub their scales off if you’re not careful, so you never touch a butterfly by its wings. How many wings do you see? Butterflies have four wings. They’re really small, so delicate.”

Overheard during the release:

“AWWWW!!! WOW!!!” as one took off … then “YAAAAY!!!” as another took flight. — students

“Bye butterfly!” — called out a gleeful student

“You can fly, you can fly, you can fly …” — chanted the students to the one land-bound stalwart who was too interested in a juicy orange to bother leaving.

This particular butterfly was in no hurry to flutter by. “It’s sucking out juice from the orange with its proboscis. It’s like a straw. It’s getting a good long drink,” explained Jennifer Hilzinger. (photo by Rodney Curtis/School Life Troy)

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