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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cardboard, Mulch and Butterflies! Oh My!

Today was a productive day at Sanderlin's garden.  I stopped by Eckerd's on-campus recycling center on my way to the garden in order to pick up some much needed cardboard to continue our seemingly never ending attack on the sedge-menace.  Although I filled my truck with cardboard, Renee and I managed to put it all down and cover it this morning so another trip to the recycling center is in order for tomorrow's crew.

Today we taught our second grade class about the life cycle of butterflies (butterfly -> egg -> caterpillar ->
cocoon  -> butterfly).  It was a lot of fun going over what pollination is and why pollinators are important with the kids.  To introduce the concept we began in a circle and acted out the life cycle (squat = egg, crawling around = caterpillar, stand up straight with arms over head and hands touching = cocoon, skip around waving arms = butterfly and repeat).  The kids really liked the game so we went through the cycle three times to reinforce the idea that this is a never ending, continuous cycle.  Next, we took a walk through the garden in search for pollinators, each kid was to look around and search for a butterfly or bee and point it out to the class if one was found.  The kids were all really excited about how things have grown (last week they we're able to come out to the garden so things have changed a lot since they last saw it).  Finally, we made a butterfly craft with coffee filters, clothes pins and pipe cleaners.  More than just being a fun thing to do, it brought up conversation about the differences in butterflies' shape and color because everyone had a different looking butterfly they created.  AND its always nice for the kids to get to bring home something from their garden experience, I think it makes them feel more connected to the project - rather than just coming once a week and leaving till the following week, they get something tangible that they made in the garden and that they're proud of.  All in all it was a very good day :).

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