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STC Second Edition The Life Cycle of Butterflies Unit In-Service Training Outline


Carolina Biological Supply Company

2700 York Road · Burlington NC 27215 800.334.5551 ·


The Life Cycle of Butterflies

(using the Second Edition Teacher's Guide) NOTE: Unless otherwise specified, all page numbers provided in this outline refer to Section 4, Unit Investigations and Blackline Masters, in the Second Edition Teacher's Guide. Recommended Length for Full Workshop: 3 hrs. For a shorter presentation, cover only the ordering and care of the caterpillars. Site Requirements: overhead projector, blank transparencies, transparency markers, flat-topped work tables, one 6-ft. or longer table for materials setup, VCR Recommended Work Groups: individuals Recommended Activity Sheets: 1 on p. 16-17, 3 on p. 28, and 4 on p. 33 Recommended Overheads: Sample Class Calendar (Section 3, Materials Management and Safety, p. 9), Fig. 1-2 on p. 5, Fig. 4-2 on p. 25, Fig. 5-1 on p. 30, Appendix B Blackline Masters of the chrysalis and adult butterfly on p. 104-105. Pre-workshop Preparation: pick up larvae, food, and chrysalises. If possible, at the end of the workshop show the optional unit video Life Cycle of the Painted Lady Butterfly (catalog no. 97-1527; not included in the unit kit so it must be purchased separately). Check your copy of the video to see if it needs to be rewound. On-site Preparation: set out the 1-oz. cups with lids and tissues for easy pickup. Open the mailing tube that contains the Class Calendar. This will be tightly rolled and will not lie flat. To correct for this, unroll the Calendar and reroll it in the opposite direction, that is, with the printed surface facing out. Secure the new roll with rubber bands. This will make the Calendar much easier to unroll in the workshop.

©2005 Carolina Biological Supply Company. The STC® unit The Life Cycle of Butterflies was researched and developed by the National Science Resources Center, Washington, DC, and is available exclusively from Carolina Biological Supply Company. This document may be reproduced only by educators in schools and districts in which The Life Cycle of Butterflies unit will be taught.

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The Life Cycle of Butterflies Workshop Introduction to the unit:

1. The Life Cycle of Butterflies is a 4- to 6-week, 16-lesson unit designed for second graders (it can also be used with first and third graders). · · · · In lessons 1-8, students study the caterpillar and chrysalis stages. In lessons 9-12, students focus on the adult stage. In lessons 13-15, students concentrate on the life cycle concept. In lesson 16, students revisit their initial thoughts concerning caterpillars.

2. Students are introduced to the life cycle concept. They also learn observational and recording skills. 3. Explain the use of icons for curriculum integration. 4. Briefly go over Teaching Strategies (Section 2, Unit Overview, p. 10-11). Also review Assessing Students' Progress (Section 2, Unit Overview, p. 12) and Student Assessment (Section 5). 5. Briefly explain Materials Management and Safety (Section 3), and Student Notebooks and Writing, Student Reading Resources, and Additional Learning Resources (Sections 6 through 8).

The lessons

Lesson 1 Getting Ready for Caterpillars

1. Go over ordering and receiving the caterpillars and food and the use of the prepaid living materials order sheet. Also go over replacing dead-on-arrival shipments. Show the cup of caterpillars and the cup of food. Explain that this is what they will receive. 2. Show the overhead of the Sample Class Calendar and talk about scheduling the activities and avoiding holidays, etc. 3. Show Fig. 1-2 and talk generally about the painted lady butterfly. Explain that, although lesson 12 calls for students to release the butterflies they have been observing during the unit, the National Science Resources Center (NSRC) now advises against their release. Though the painted lady is commonly found throughout North America, releasing the butterflies might encourage students to relase other organisms that could do harm. (In some states the release is prohibited by state wildlife laws. In these cases, the adults should be killed by freezing rather than being released.) As an alternative, the NSRC recommends that the class build a flight cage and raise a second generation of butterflies. 4. Do brainstorming. Write on an overhead, "What we know about butterflies." Ask participants to give possible student responses. 2

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Lesson 2

Caring for Caterpillars

1. Talk about the food and what it contains. 2. Demonstrate how to set up a culture. The Teacher's Guide directs the teacher to put the food in the cup but not to tamp it down. Point out that if they use too much food per cup, they will not have enough for 30. 3. Demonstrate how to tamp the food into the bottom of the cup. (STC master teacher Peggy Willcuts inserts the bottom of a second cup into the first, and uses it to mold the food into the cup.) 4. Use the brush to transfer a caterpillar into the cup, and then cover the cup's mouth with tissue paper and put on a lid. Discuss classroom management. 5. Let the participants set up their own cultures. They should also pick up a hand lens to aid in observing the caterpillar. 6. Have them fill in Activity Sheet 1. Lesson 3 Lesson 4 Learning More about Caterpillars, and Observing the Caterpillars

1. Show Fig. 4-2. Explain the functions of the labeled parts. 2. Have participants fill in Activity Sheet 3. Lesson 5 Observing Change: Growth and Molting

1. Show Fig. 5-1. Talk about the molting process and why the caterpillars molt. 2. Have participants fill in Activity Sheet 4. Lesson 6 Silk Spinning

Most participants will have noticed silk or even the head weaving associated with silk spinning. Refer to Appendix A, p. 97-98, for the legend of silk. Lesson 7 Lesson 8 From Caterpillar to Chrysalis, and Observing the Chrysalis

1. Show Fig. 1-2 again. Point out the characteristic J-shape that signals the larval-to-pupa molt. 2. Pass around the chrysalises you brought. These can be placed in the petri dish bottoms and lids or in spare 1-oz cups or in other handy containers. 3. Show an overhead of the chrysalis. Go over the labeled parts.


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Lesson 9 Lesson 10 Lesson 11

The Butterfly Emerges Feeding the Butterflies, and The Butterfly's Body

1. Using the directions on p. 41 (Fig. 7-2), demonstrate how to assemble a flight cage. Also refer to Section 3, Materials Management and Safety, p. 10, for build-it-yourself cages. 2. Demonstrate taping the paper with chrysalis attached to the side wall of the cage. Caution that butterflies that emerge on the bottom of the cage may have deformed wings. Mention that the reddish liquid that butterflies expel when they emerge is waste material, not blood. 3. Demonstrate setting up a feeding station for the butterflies (p. 64). 4. Show the Blackline Master of the adult butterfly and go over the parts. Lesson 12 The Butterflies Go Free

Again mention that, although lesson 12 calls for students to release the butterflies they have been observing during the unit, the NSRC now advises against their release. Refer to Section 3, Materials management and Safety, p. 15-16, Advisory on Releasing or Disposing of Organisms. As an alternative, the NSRC recommends that the class build a flight cage and raise a second generation of butterflies. Refer to Section 3, Materials Management and Safety, p. 11. Lesson 13 Using Our Data

Show the Class Calendar and the overhead of the Sample Class Calendar. Explain that the students will summarize their data on this Calendar. Lesson 14 Lesson 15 Discovering that Butterflies Are Insects, and Other Life Cycles

If possible, show the optional Life Cycle of the Painted Lady Butterfly video. If you do not have a copy of the video, talk through the concepts of these last 2 lessons. Lesson 16 Post-Unit Assessment

Have participants review their first thoughts regarding caterpillars to show how their knowledge about the organisms has increased through the unit's activities.


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1. Give out any evaluation forms and ask that they be filled out. 2. Ask for help with cleanup. 3. Be available for questions/discussion.



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