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ERIC Number: EJ960841
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Oct
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0004-3931
Monarch Butterflies: Spirits of Loved Ones
Crumpecker, Cheryl
Arts & Activities, v150 n2 p18-19 Oct 2011
The study of the beautiful monarch butterfly lends itself to a vast array of subject matter, and offers the opportunity to meet a large and varied number of standards and objectives for many grade levels. Art projects featuring monarchs may include many cross-curricular units such as math (symmetry and number graphing), science (adaptation and metamorphosis) and geography (mapping and habitat). The author's third-grade classes study monarchs in conjunction with the Day of the Dead. She begins the lesson by reading "Uncle Monarch and The Day of the Dead" by Judy Goldman, which tells the story of the true meaning of Mexico's "Dia de los Muertos," and the belief that monarch butterflies are the souls of loved ones returning home for a visit. Then comes a short PowerPoint presentation focusing on the butterflies' migratory paths, and fantastic photos of the butterflies hanging by the thousands in the fir trees of the Michoacan Forest. The butterflies' arrival in Mexico coincides with the celebrated Dia de los Muertos on Nov. 1, All Saints Day, and Nov. 2, All Souls Day--commonly known in the United States as the Day of the Dead. Dia de los Muertos is a holiday where loved ones, living and dead, gather for a celebration of life. The students then study visuals of monarchs, noticing their symmetry and color patterns, as well as photos of various types of flowers the butterflies may have used for nourishment during their long journey. With such a lesson, students come to understand the connection between monarch butterflies and Dia de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead); learn how to mix secondary colors from primary colors; demonstrate transparent watercolor technique; draw symmetrical butterflies; create a crayon resist; and draw contour-line flowers.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Elementary Education; Grade 3; Primary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A