How a caterpillar changes into a butterfly

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by educatingme, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. educatingme

    educatingme Companion

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    Apr 26, 2007

    We're doing a simple bug/insect theme in Kindergarten and the kids are very interested in how a caterpillar changes into a butterfly. They know a caterpillar goes into a cocoon (aka a "raccoon" and a "kokomo"), but they want to know exactly what happens in there. I've been searching for some kind of interesting video for them for a half hour and can't find anything. Does anyone know where I might find something that will "show" them (rather than our telling them) how it happens?
     
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  3. moonbeamsinajar

    moonbeamsinajar Habitué

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    Apr 26, 2007

    How about getting the "real thing" instead of watching a video! Every year I order live caterpillars from www.insectlore.com
    and we watch them grow from tiny 1/4 inch caterpillars to real butterflies. We have them in my classroom right now! The kids are so excited, they can hardly wait to see them change!
     
  4. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Apr 26, 2007

  5. evil_twin2327

    evil_twin2327 Rookie

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    Apr 27, 2007

    don't know if it exists


    I raise monarchs every year (so keep in mind my experience is with them, though I am fairly certain the same goes for most butterflies/moths). I have spoken with researchers and scientists and they still have the same question that your students do! No one really knows what happens inside the coccoon/chrysalis. My kids call the inside "butterfly juice"! So I am not sure any type of video exists out there showing the transformation from inside the coccoon/chrysalis.
     
  6. wdwteach

    wdwteach Cohort

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    Apr 27, 2007

    We grow the real thing every year. It is a little gross. Their heads fall off! And when the butterflies hatch, they bleed and some of them do not straighten their wings and are not able to fly away. I always explain to the kids that we are watching real creatures be born and it is not always pretty or perfect but it is real life. (Still a little icky.)
     
  7. moonbeamsinajar

    moonbeamsinajar Habitué

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    Apr 28, 2007

    My understanding, from what I have read, is that they are not really bleeding. I believe that the red substance is actually excess color, from the wings. But it really does look like blood. One year we had a chrysalis that fell to the bottom of the container. When the butterfly "hatched", it's one wing was somewhat deformed and it could not fly. I wondered if it was the side it laid on in the chrysalis. Last year, we had one caterpillar that just would not hang and turn into a chrysalis. It just stayed a caterpillar for weeks after the others were done and had flown away. A coworker took it home with her, but I never heard what happened to it.
     

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