By Wendy & Katie
June 11, 1997
June 11, 1997 Metamorphosis Todays lesson will help Katie identify the stages in the development of a butterfly. We will reinforce the concept that all living things have basic needs that must be met in order to survive; and that all living things grow and change. We will be comparing the growth and development of a butterfly with our own growth and development. Today I started the lesson with a series of pictures clipped from a magazine and family photographs. After allowing Katie to view the photo's, we had a question and answer discussion. For example while showing Katie photo's of 2 infant's I asked if it looked like the babies were about the same age. Then I added 2 additional photograph's, (photo's of the same 2 babies as young ), children and again, asked the same question. I proceeded by removing 2 of the pictures from this group, (1 of the baby and 1 of a young child); again I repeated the question. In another series of pictures; (4 people in various age groups...infant, child, adult, and senior citizen), I asked her to tell me if it looked like all of the people looked like they were the same age, or if they looked different. We then went through the pictures and discussed the differences from person to person as they age. These are some of the things that we learned: *There are different kinds of people in the world. Some people are old, some are babies and some are just people like you and me. *People change as they grow; a baby does not look like a big person. *You have to take care of babies and yourself to grow up big. People need certain things to live. *People need things to help them grow up. ---Katie We turned our attention to insects. I gave Katie some hand-outs of "Egg to Butterfly" coloring pages. I explained that just like us insects go through dramatic changes as they go through their "life cycles." That means living things change during their lifetimes. The we learned a big new word "metamorphosis." As Katie looked at her coloring pages I asked her if all the pictures looked the same. For fun I asked her to guess what order the stages were suppose to go in and to arrange those stages in that order. When she was done we went through the order of the stages, and what each stage was and what happened in each. We have already learned that there are 4 stages in the development of a butterfly. I also used library books to show her pictures of the various stages of growth. We have put the 4 stages of metamorphosis here for you to see. We have tried to explain what happens in each of these stages. "4 Stages of Metamorphosis in a Butterfly" Stage 1.......Egg Stage 2.......Larva (or caterpillar) Stage 3.......Chrysalis (or pupa) Stage 4.......Butterfly (or adult) ---Katie We looked at our coloring pages again and then we matched the pictures with the correct stages. Then we went through each of the stages individually and learned as many different things about each one as we could. you to see. Stages of Metamorphosis in Butterflies A. Egg Stage 1. The life of a moth or butterfly starts with an egg. 2. The egg is tiny, round, oval, or cylinder shaped. 3. Egg's come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes they are laid singly, and sometimes they are laid in groups. The Monarch, for example, lays a single egg, usually on the underside of a plant leaf. 4. Egg's are always laid on, or near it's food source. 5. Some egg's are laid when the butterfly or moth is flying. B. Larva/Caterpillar Stage Larva, or caterpillars as they are often called, are the long, worm-like stage of a butterfly or moth. 1. Caterpillar's have many different colors and patterns, and sometimes hairs and spines on their bodies. 2. Caterpillar's are in the "eating & growing" stage of becoming a but- terfly . As it grows it will shed it's skin several times so that it can keep it's body covered. 3. This is the stage a butterfly is in before it makes it's cocoon or chrysalis. C. Chrysalis/Pupa Stage 1. This is also known as the "resting" stage. 2. This is the stage where the final transformation to a butterfly takes place. a. During this stage caterpillar's spin a silk mat or button of silk on a surface where they are going to change to a chrysalis. b. The caterpillar then hangs upside down from it's prolegs from this silken mat. c. The larva then swells and begins to change color. d. The old skin begins to split behind the head, and eventually falls off. What remains is the pupa. The pupa is very soft and delicate until it hardens. This hardened shell protects the butterfly as it is making it's final changes. e. Inside the pupa/chrysalis many changes are taking place to turn the caterpillar into a butterfly. 1. The muscles break down into mush. 2. Leg's and wings appear. 3. Compound eyes and antennae appear. **Katie was reminded that caterpillar's turn into moth's or butterflies. A caterpillar that spins a cocoon, (silk around itself), will turn into a moth. A caterpillar that spins silk and then attaches itself to the silk and hangs upside down and turns into a chrysalis, will turn into a butterfly. D. Adult 1. This is the final and resulting stage of metamorphosis; the adult butterfly or moth. All growing and changing is done. 2. This is where the cocoon or chrysalide will hatch and a butterfly or moth will be there. ARE NEW BUTTERFLIES DIFFERENT? Now that we have talked about metamorphosis and what happens as an egg grows to a butterfly, we are going to take a look at what a new butterfly is like. We wanted to know if they could fly right away. We have read in our books that butterflies wings are wet and crumpled when they hatch from their chrysalides. They have to "pump" them up and let them dry before they can fly. A moth dries their wings by laying they flat out. A butterfly will let itself hang downward to dry it's wings; as you can see by some of the pictures here. . It can take an hour to many hours for wings to dry. Until then a butterfly can not fly. A butterfly has to "pump up", warm up and get energy, and let those wings dry before he can go anywhere. An adult butterfly doesn't live very long...about a month. Their job while they are alive is to find other butteflies like them and to make more butterflies. The butterflies that you see at the beginning of summer are not the same ones you will you will see at the end of the season. There are many "generations" of butteflies that we see in the sumertime. Nectar from flowers, (the sugar/water juices in the flowers), give the butterflies their food. They use their probiscus to drink the nectar. They use their eyes to find the flowers, and the hairs on the bottom of their feet to find the nectar. We reviewed things one more time and looked at many different pictures of butterflies and made more comparisons when we were through. We concluded the lessons here.