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Main Curriculum Tie:
Supplemental Materials (pdf)
Background For Teachers:
Students need to understand the metamorphosis or life cycle of a butterfly. During the first stage, the female lays tiny eggs on a leaf (host plant), then around five days later, the egg hatches into a tiny larva. This larva is called a caterpillar. During this second stage, its primary purpose is to grow and eat leaves. Its first meal is eating its own egg shell. The caterpillar eventually attaches itself to a twig and forms a hard outer shell called a pupa or chrysalis. This third stage is the resting or transformation stage for the pupa, where a marvelous transformation from caterpillar to adult takes place. During this fourth and final state, the pupa skin splits, the limp, damp butterfly or moth crawls out with compound eyes, a proboscis for feeding, and six legs. The wings expand, and blood begins pumping into them. A little warming from the sun, and it is now ready to fly off to feed and lay its eggs.
If you're focusing on the monarch butterflies, students should understand a little about the milkweed plant. Monarchs need milkweed to survive. The butterfly lays its eggs on milkweed plants. The growing larvae (caterpillars) eat milkweed leaves. These leaves contain toxins–poisonous chemicals. These toxins do not hurt the caterpillar, but they do make the caterpillar poisonous to most predators. Because it eats milkweed leaves as a caterpillar, the monarch butterfly is also poisonous. The vibrant colors of the monarch, make it difficult for the butterfly to camouflage itself so the survival of the monarch butterfly depends on this self defense system provided by the milkweed.
Intended Learning Outcomes:
I'm going to give you some direction to follow. Pay attention to see if you need to move fast or slow, work way up high or down low, and notice if you use a lot of space or just a small spot. Sometimes I'll want to see big movement and sometimes I'll hardly notice you're moving at all. For this first group of instructions, stay in one place and remember you can only use body movement and facial expressions, but no talking or sounds.
Arch like a cat, stretch like a rubber band, pull like you're in a tug-of-war, topple like a house of cards, flutter like a fly caught in a spider’s web, tip-toe while the baby is sleeping, duck out of the way of that low tree branch, freeze you body into a statue, sink to the bottom of the ocean, shake like a wet dog, expand like a balloon being blown up, burst that balloon open, melt to the ground, rise to the sky, sway back and forth in the wind, dangle on the edge of a cliff, turn slowly on one foot, spin quickly on the other, now stop.
You are amazing! Now try these movements. This time you can use the space in the classroom/gym. Remember I'm only watching for body movement and facial expression. No talking or sounds.
Walk at a nice slow pace, scamper like a squirrel gathering nuts, search on the ground for your missing coin, gallop like a horse in the meadow, climb to the top of the tree, slither like snake, skate like you're on ice, soar like a bird, hop like you're playing hopscotch, march like you're in a parade, run like you're being chased, trudge through the knee-high mud, sneak like you're snatching an extra cookie, waddle like a duck, charge like a bull, leap like a frog, wander like you're lost, roll down the hill, jump like a kangaroo, crawl like a baby, now stop.
Dwyer, T., Salles, J.F., Blizzard, L., Lazarus, R., Dean, K. (2001). Relation of academic performance of physical activity and fitness in children. Pediatric Exercise Science, Volume 13.3, p.225
This article studied the relationship of academic performance to physical activity and fitness in children and concluded that physical activity does enhance academic performance.
The results also showed that physical activity increased the secretion of tryptophan across the blood-brain barrier, having a calming effect in children enabling them to sit and concentrate on academic pursuits. Physical activity also increased the blood flow to the cortex of the brain. There is also a positive relationship between physical activity and self-esteem in children.
Lister, D.O. (2005). Effects of traditional versus tactual and kinesthetic learning-style responsive instructional strategies on Bermudian learning-support sixth grade students’ social studies achievement and attitude test scores. Research for Educational Reform, Volume 10.2 pp. 24-40, 17p; (AN17490687)
This article investigated learning style characteristics and the effects of traditional instruction versus learning-style responsive instruction on student’s achievement and attitude-test scores. Students performed significantly higher when emphasis on manipulation of resources and active engagement was emphasized rather than to focus on traditional instruction using lectures, discussions, and worksheets.
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