Butterfly buddies are taking part in a project called Journey North, in which children throughout North America study the 1000 mile migration of Monarch butterflies from North American to Mexico and back.
First, each child in each class made a beautiful butterfly out of recycled paper. On the back of their butterflies, the children added messages in Spanish, as well as Explorer’s school address. The butterflies were mailed to Journey North, a nonprofit organization that works to preserve Monarch habitat throughout North America. Journey North will deliver the butterflies to the children who live near the forests in Mexico where Monarchs spend the winter. This encourages the children to preserve that habitat, so that the butterflies can make their yearly journey. Later in the year, Journey North will send the butterflies back, with messages from the children in Mexico who will encourage our children to develop and preserve Milkweed habitat here in San Diego.
In our school garden, students counted monarchs at various stages of development. One day, they found seven Monarch caterpillars, and 15 caterpillars of the Anise Swallowtail. Another day, they found 20 Monarch eggs on the underside of the Milkweed leaves.
Butterfly buddies also read Butterfly Count by Sneed Collard III, about the restoration of butterfly habitat and a real-life yearly butterfly count. They also read Uncle Monarch, about the Mexican folk tale about the Day of the Dead, when the spirit of a person can enter the body of a Monarch.