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There is so much magic to behold each spring on the D-E campus.  Our outdoor spaces provide children with plentiful opportunities to use their senses to take in and learn about nature.  Outside of classroom windows, the children tune in to the sounds of chirping birds. They observe butterflies fluttering about searching for nectar.  The children find shade on sunny days under the plentiful trees that have recently leafed out. They joyfully collect dandelion clocks and give one blow to amazingly disperse their seeds into the air.  What is wondrous to all of the children is also scientific.  The children show great enthusiasm as they make new discoveries and connect these discoveries to scientific concepts.

Most recently, the Lower School’s youngest scientists have been keenly observing the metamorphosis of ladybug and butterfly larvae into adult insects.  They carefully helped to care for ladybug larvae and Painted Lady butterfly caterpillars.  Their sense of inquiry helped to guide their learning.  Each morning at arrival, many students were eager to check in with the insects.  As they learned about the stages of metamorphosis, the children were excited to notice when these transitions were occurring.  They were delighted to see that the caterpillars had formed their chrysalises and that the ladybug larvae formed their pupae.  

The children exhibited great patience and understanding as they awaited the emergence of the adult butterflies and ladybugs.  They knew to expect yellow ladybugs whose outer wings would slowly turn dark pink with spots.  They were also aware that the newly metamorphosed butterflies needed some time to pump up their wings before they could take flight.  When the adult insects finally emerged, the children were filled with a sense of pride and accomplishment for these magical creatures!

Although the release of the ladybugs and butterflies was a bittersweet feeling for many of the students, the children (and teachers) rejoiced as they watched the insects that they so lovingly cared for ascend into the sky.

Please enjoy these photos of the children gardening and enjoying nature these past few weeks!