Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Gardens, Butterflies, and Ladybugs, OH MY!

We have had several good days of rain lately!  So when I got to school today, I noticed that we would need to pick some of our carrots.  We headed outside and found these
As I pulled the carrots out, I noticed several little ladybug larvae crawling around in the dirt.  Check it out. (this is in Heather's hand)
We have been keeping busy learning all about the complete metamorphosis of insects.  As I was showing them the ladybug larvae, one of my students said, "look, here's a pupa!"  I was SO excited.  We haven't talked about the ladybug life cycle yet.  When I showed them the larvae it was the first time they had even seen one.  I was so impressed that this student applied his knowledge from mealworms and butterflies to ladybugs.  I turned around quickly and saw what he pointed to.  It was in fact, a ladybug pupa right on the wall outside my classroom window.
So amazing!  Well, we needed to move inside and get to work.  However, work in the garden had to continue.  So I left small groups of students with our full time substitute.  They harvested peas, carrots, and lettuce to take home.  We even got one onion! 

The next amazing thing was what one of my students found munching on some lettuce and dill.  2 monarch caterpillars.  When we study butterflies, we raise Painted Lady Butterflies.  I have actually never seen a monarch caterpillar before!  It was absolutely amazing!

It was just such a fun day of getting our hands dirty and learning about insects in REAL LIFE!  I can't wait to keep our eyes on these two caterpillars and see them go into their chrysalis!  I sure do love those gardens and how much Heather and I can teach to our kids through it!

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