Magazine article Multimedia & Internet@Schools

A Metamorphosis in Learning

Magazine article Multimedia & Internet@Schools

A Metamorphosis in Learning

Article excerpt

HOW DOES that caterpillar become a butterfly? And can that little egg really grow into a frog? Exploring life cycles with students can be a fascinating adventure. Begin by having students keep a scientific journal of observations and research based on the life cycles of butterflies, mealworms, and frogs. Ask them why journals are important to scientists. What sorts of things are written in a scientific journal? What can we learn from a scientific journal? Why is it important for scientists to keep journals? As students begin asking questions, direct them to Web sites and books that will help them find the answers to these essential questions and to gain deeper understanding.

BUTTERFLIES

Billie Bear Butterfly

Begin by viewing great photographs of the butterfly life cycle. Then, let your students explore all of the cool features, such as a butterfly font for their reports, bookmarks, flash cards, coloring pages, and games. E-mail a postcard to a friend. Finally, plant a butterfly garden and leave a lasting class memory for all to enjoy.

Children's Butterfly Web Site

Navigating the Children's Butterfly Web site is a breeze. Concise descriptions of the butterfly life cycle are augmented with color illustrations and presented in several languages. Click on the world map in the photo gallery for images of common butterflies found throughout the world. A glossary, books, and additional Web links are listed under Resources. Rounding out the information is the FAQ page with answers to loads of questions: Do caterpillars drink water? Where do butterflies go when it rains? How long do butterflies live? This is site is a good starting point for students.

Earth's Birthday Butterfly Activity Kit

Since 1989, the Earth's Birthday project has been sponsoring butterfly release events. A project activity kit is available for downloading and printing. Included in the kit are comprehensive materials for each activity and ways to modify it according to grade level. There are over 30 activities ranging from keeping a journal to planting a butterfly garden. This is a must-see Web site when studying butterflies.

Journey North: Monarch Butterfly

Have you ever observed a ravenous caterpillar consume a bunch of leaves? Have you ever watched a butterfly emerge from a chrysalis? On the resource page at Journey North, there is a series of movies about monarch biology with discussion questions to pose before viewing. These visual presentations are great introductions to the life cycle process.

FROGS

All About Frogs

The title says it all. Frog houses, jokes, fables, sounds, photographs, games, facts, and even a teacher's corner fill every nook and cranny at this zany site. If you visit the frog doctor, you will find a wealth of information about the care and feeding of frogs. Hop over to Frog Happenings for frog events around the country. Students will love exploring this Web site.

Frog Metamorphosis

A series of close-up photographs show the development from egg to tadpole to froglet to frog over a period of 131 days. Each image is captioned with information pointing out the incremental changes in the frog's development. Students will be fascinated by the transformation they see over time.

Sampling Sounds of North American Frogs from the Smithsonian

What fun to listen to an assortment of frog audio samples! After this jam session, students will hear that "ribbit" isn't the only frog sound. Common and scientific names are given along with the type of sound.

Something Froggy

Choose from the Primary (K-3) or the Junior (4-8) version to learn about frogs and their life cycle. Both versions follow a story line about Frederick the bullfrog, using age-appropriate words and activities. Younger students will find scavenger hunts, an interactive word search, and crossword puzzle. Older students can test their knowledge by taking the froggy vocabulary quiz or find Frederick down at the pond. …

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