“If children are terrified of bugs, it’s usually because they caught the fear of adults around them.”Spending time outdoors at this time of the year usually brings us into contact with a butterfly or two. I know for our family we just about every day see some sort of butterfly in the garden. Little white ones, little bluish-gray ones, and big Tiger swallowtails frequent the many flowers and bushes we have blooming in our yard.
Charlotte Mason in Modern English, volume 1 page 58
Let's take this week to start looking for butterflies to learn about and talk about in our nature journals. If you have never learned about the life-cycle of a butterfly, check your local library for a good book on the topic. The Handbook of Nature Study describes the cycle with words but it is much more interesting to have a picture book that illustrates the most interesting of life-cycles.
Another way to study butterflies is to purchase a kit to hatch your own. This is the perfect way to observe each of the stages of life that the butterfly goes through.
Outdoor Hour Challenge #22
Focus on Insects-Butterflies
1. This challenge starts the beginning of our mini-focus on insects. Read in the Handbook of Nature Study the introduction to insects, pages 294-300. The Black Swallowtail and the Monarch Butterflies are specifically covered in the Handbook of Nature Study. You can read over those sections before your outdoor time in case you encounter those particular butterflies and to give you ideas for observing any sort of butterfly that you may have in your local area.
2. Use your 10-15 minutes of outdoor time to look for insects and in particular butterflies. Spotting butterflies might need to be done as you go about your daily activities and then taking the opportunity to do your observations at that time. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see a butterfly this week but look at this as an ongoing challenge as the summer progresses.
Here is a link to an article on how to attract and catch/release butterflies.
How to Catch Butterflies
3. After you have your outdoor time, provide an opportunity for working on a nature journal entry. You might consider drawing a butterfly and labeling its parts as a way of narration of the points you have discussed this week. If you found a different kind of insect, you can make a nature journal entry for that one as well.
4. If you observe more than one kind of butterfly this week, make sure to start a list of butterflies in your nature journal. I like to keep a running list in the back of my nature journal. Keep adding to your list of other insects as well.
5. Post an entry on your blog sharing your experiences and then share the link with the Outdoor Hour Challenge Blog Carnival.
You may be interested in more insect challenges listed here on the Handbook of Nature Study:
Winter Wednesday - Winter Insect Study
Moths and Fireflies
Crickets, Grasshoppers, and Katydids
Leaf-Miners and Leaf-Rollers