Saturday, May 19, 2012
On a simialar note, we have a terrarium with three local frogs and a mud turtle. They need constant feeding and live insects are the menu. (I did find that if you dangle a dead insect the frogs will go for it anyway so it's mostly a movement thing, not an issue of fresh meat.) At any rate, my students often spend their recess time hunting for live bugs. One student actually caught a monarch butterfly. We decided it would be a good big meal and, in the spirit of food webs, we tossed it into the terrarium. We watched one of the frogs jump at it, take a bite and spit it out. I thought, "oh that's too bad, it was too big" and then I thought, wait a minute. . . monarchs are poisonous. I have read that a hundred times. They eat milkweed and somehow that makes them poisonous to other animals. In fact, I remember that some butterflies fashion themselves after monarchs just to fool others into thinking they are poisonous.
What an amazing moment! I have been teaching for years. I believe in hands-on education. I believe it makes kids smarter, but I had proof of it that day. I knew monarchs were poisonous in the recesses of my mind . . . I'd read it many times. But it really wasn't until I watched a frog spit out a monarch that I really knew it and I'm pretty sure I won't forget it. We let the butterfly out of the terrarium and it flew to the window and we let it go free. I think it is a wonder that an insect could teach me so much after all these years. And I learned a lesson, again, that I already knew . . . kids need to experience learning and I need to keep teaching with that in mind. Sometimes learning a lesson that you already know is an amazing gift!
Saturday, May 5, 2012
|Checking out the cool frogs in the pond|
|A captive Reporter|
|The Fern Garden Grows!|