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In this book poetry takes the young reader through all of the life stages of a butterfly from egg to adult. Once the butterflies have emerged, the story then follows the insects as they look for the flowers that provide them with the nectar they need. Along the way children will also meet some of the other interesting creatures in the garden. The book also contains a simple field guide which can be used by young children to identify butterflies and caterpillars. There is an accompanying section of the book that offers tips for butterfly gardening with colourful illustrations of some of the more common flowers that attract butterflies.
A teaching guide to accompany the book can be found here.
This book would make an excellent companion to a class action project where students raise and release butterflies. Children could observe and record changes they see in their specimens as they progress through the life cycle from egg to adult. When the butterflies have reached the adult stage the flower guide in the book will help students identify natural areas in their community where the butterflies can be safely released. If the class raises Monarchs, students could research their migration path and locate key wintering areas on a map. This would also provide students with an opportunity to learn more about the conservation of butterfly habitat. A class action project could be undertaken with a community organization, to plant a butterfly garden either on school grounds or elsewhere within the community. Children could raise the plants from seed thus learning about plant growth.
The book provides young readers a chance to expand their vocabulary with the introduction of scientific terms such as larva and pupa. Children could use this new vocabulary in a creative writing excercise in which they write their own stories about butterflies.
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