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Fall is a great time of year! The weather is getting cooler, trees are changing color, and school is back in session. This makes it one of the most opportune times to teach children about the life cycle of a butterfly.

Butterflies start out in the spring as butterfly eggs. These eggs then turn into caterpillars which in turn make chrysalises and then become butterflies.

The Wyalusing Head Start class of Bradford-Tioga Head Start, Inc. began studying the life cycle of a butterfly when their teachers noticed the children witnessing what other elementary classes were doing. “We started by talking to the children about what they were seeing,” Said Wyalusing Head Start teacher, Alicia McAdam. “They got REALLY excited when the 5th grade students offered to give us a caterpillar of our very own!”

Wyalusing 5th grade teacher Mrs. Otis gave the class a caterpillar of their very own. Then Head Start student teacher Lisa Wheeler got some netting. The caterpillar was placed in a see through container so the children could better observe the changes that were going to take place. Teachers printed off diagrams showing the different life cycle stages near the caterpillar, and placed them in the science area.

Imagine the children’s surprise when they returned to school on Monday and found that their caterpillar had changed into a chrysalis! They counted and recorded the days; waiting and hoping to see a beautiful butterfly. On day 14, the teachers and children  came in and discovered they had a beautiful butterfly! Needless to say, the children were excited! Now there was only one last thing for the children to do to complete the cycle. They all took the butterfly outside and released it; knowing that the next time they see a caterpillar, they know a butterfly is in the near future.


Photo Caption:       Wyalusing Head Start children are seen patiently waiting for their butterfly to complete the life cycle and fly away. The butterfly emerged after being first a caterpillar and then a chrysalis in a container that was housed in their classroom