EarthCare Sudbury Butterfly Program
The EarthCare Sudbury Butterfly Program offers free Painted Lady butterfly rearing kits to schools within the City of Greater Sudbury. Each year, the Rainbow District School Board, Conseil scolaire public du Grand Nord de l’Ontario, Sudbury Catholic District School Board and Conseil scolaire catholique du Nouvel-Ontario are allotted butterfly rearing kits. Educators are given the opportunity to have a local expert visit their class when the butterflies are ready to release. A notice is sent via email early in the year to the four school boards requesting that interested educators call or email the EarthCare Sudbury Co-ordinator. The butterfly rearing kits are available on a first come, first served basis. Schools that have not yet participated in the program will be given priority over schools that received kits in previous years.
Why Rear Butterflies?
Butterfly rearing offers multiple learning opportunities that complement the curriculum. Rearing the caterpillars helps Grade 1 students learn about stewardship and the basic needs of living things. Observing a caterpillar change from chrysalis to a butterfly helps demonstrate the life cycle to Grade 2 students. Older students may also appreciate the experience and the final event can be geared towards their curriculum: plant characteristics and pollination specific to butterflies; how we rely on insects for pollination; habitat and habitat conservation. In one case, Grade 6 students at a local school used the experience to develop their communication skills by bringing in younger classes and becoming the teachers themselves. This program also supports the integration of other curriculums, such as language and the arts.
This program aims to inspire our youth and encourage them to enjoy and protect our natural environment. We hope to give teachers extra resources to enhance their teaching experience and provide confidence to find new and interesting critters in their own schoolyards.
For more information, please read the EarthCare Sudbury Butterfly Program Guide for Teachers.
The Sudbury Writer’s Guild has provided the following poem and short story about butterflies:
Photo by Lee Ruk used under Creative Commons licence.