Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Symbolic Monarch Butterfly Migration Fosters Friendship

Today, I have a fantastic program to tell you about, but you’ll have to hurry if you want to participate, because the deadline is exactly one week from today! This international butterfly exchange program doesn't exchange insects - it exchanges handmade butterflies.

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The Wildlife Migration Website

Journey North is an interactive site where students can learn about the interrelated phenomena of wildlife migration and seasonal change. For instance, they can learn about the relationship between sunlight and the seasons, plants and the seasons, and/or seasonal migrations. The site is just full, full, FULL of information, activities, videos, and so much more for students in K-12.

Monarch Migration Program for Schools

But the program that I want to share with you all today, is the 15th annual "Symbolic Monarch Butterfly Migration". Every fall, students in the US and Canada mail symbolic butterflies to Mexico where children protect them throughout the winter and then send them back north in the spring. This annual exchange fosters friendship, conservation and ambassadorship between children across North America. This fall, over 60,000 students in the US and Canada are expected to send symbolic monarchs to Mexico!

If you would like to participate, teachers must download the teacher packet, which includes the instructions for making and sending the butterfly, as well as directions for registering on the Journey North website. In addition, teachers (or parents!) can use the lessons provided by Journey North to prepare their students for the program. And after mailing it, students can monitor the status of their migrating monarch online. Students are encouraged to send class pictures, drawings, and a letter in Spanish along with their butterfly.

Children at the monarch sanctuaries in Mexico will care for and send the butterflies back in the spring. NOTE: You will not receive the same butterfly you sent!

Homeschooling Families May Participate

This is a most wonderful opportunity for your children to experience, and I do hope those of you homeschooling will participate. If you are a parent with children in a public or private school, consider contacting your children’s teacher right away. However, it does not say anywhere on the site that only classes may register, so you may wish to do this program on your own to supplement your child’s education.

If your family/class decides to get involved in this project, I hope you will snap some pictures and share them with me! We will be getting ours together soon, and I will post some pictures next week.

Additional Resources for Learning About Monarch Butterflies

Here are some really cool ideas for other resources to supplement your study of Monarchs.

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