Goodbye, Butterflies: First Graders Culminate Life Cycle Study with Butterfly Release

Every year, each first grade class nurtures and observes butterflies as they learn about life cycles.
First graders research and observe butterflies through their life cycles with their classroom teachers and in the Science Lab with Lucy Wesson ’74. They observe the stages of metamorphosis and learn about butterflies and life cycles through hands-on activities and by asking any questions they had along the way. 

“Our girls always love this study because they can see metamorphosis happening before their eyes. Our inquiry-based approach also helps our girls expand their critical reasoning skills,” Katharine Kent, lower school head, said.

From dancing like butterflies with ballet teacher Louisa Koeppel to learning about the migration of monarch butterflies to Mexico in Spanish with Señora Kenna Chelsoi, other teachers also incorporate the first graders’ study of butterflies into their classes.

After the classroom butterflies transformed from larvae to pupae to butterflies, it's time for them to fly! First graders release the butterflies they raised from caterpillars into the Hutchison Courtyard, and their moms and special friends get to share the experience with them. Each year, the butterflies are ready to explore the Hutchison campus, but some of the butterflies stay for a moment to say goodbye!

The butterfly release is an annual tradition that our girls cherish. Watching the butterflies enjoy their new home is a beautiful way to see their work pay off and bring their lesson full circle.

“By understanding life cycles, our girls can better understand the world and respect all life around them,” Kent said.

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