Garden of Butterflies


Saroja A. Nadig


I thought of combining the idea of change (transformation) and creating motivation in our students for independent learning through this project of Garden of Butterflies. I was fascinated by the simplicity of the set up of the lab, and the multiple aspects of life cycle of butterfly, both of which offers an ample choices for students to do independent research and learn more about the life cycle of butterflies, first hand. The essence of the life cycle of the butterfly is unique because of transformation of caterpillar into butterfly. With this project I hope, my students will be transformed from non-motivated low achievers, into a high scoring independent learners


Teaching Model


As I was fascinated, I hope my students will be fascinated and become curious enough to get interested in this on going project that I am planning to have. I plan to have a set up like this one, similar to the one that is set up in this lab, demonstrating the complete life cycle of butterflies.




Any student who shows interest and asks questions will be explained about the project. They will be invited to study the life cycle of the butterflies and get answers for their questions


As a part of the inquiry based lesson plan, I will be following 5E strategy to guide students through their investigation.


I will be introducing the students to 4Q model of interrogation to facilitate them to conduct their own independent investigation.



5E strategies are:


Engage: This is the crucial part of the inquiry-based lesson. The lab demonstrations, or movie clips pertinent the lesson, which will be strong enough to catch the attention of the students, will be used. In this case, the lab set up should invoke the curiosity in students, and draw their attention, and create chance for the discussion with the teacher.

Lab set up will be a demonstration model for them to get the concept about scientific investigation


In addition to Lab set up I am planning to have many colorful posters of butterflies, possibly an album of different types of butterflies from all over the world, and information regarding the Butterfly Gardens in Atlanta, GA. And in England, and any memorabilia available regarding the butterfly will be collected and be part of the Butterfly Garden in the classroom. I hope these items will be able create enough curiosity, and will bring a stream of students to come forward for the fun filled student directed investigation.


Explore: Student will have an objective to investigate and will have a plan to conduct the experiment. Student will collect the information through the discussion with teacher, using the on-line references, and brainstorming with the other students in the group, or with their peers. Student will provide the list of needed materials for the experiment. Teacher will provide appropriate and approved materials. The student (s) will be conducting the experiment under the supervision of the teacher. They will be collecting the data of their investigation, and will be keeping a good record of the data. Responsibility and regularity in doing their work will be stressed.


Explain: Student will present and explain their data, or result of their investigation in the form of an article, or posters, or collection of photographs with a story line, to the class.


Extend: Student will demonstrate the benefit of independent investigation in applying this method of learning to other subjects and gaining the first hand knowledge.


Evaluate: Students will be awarded extra credits for their . At this stage, rubrics will not be used.


Benefits for getting into this Project: In the way of encouraging the students, information regarding the research and photographs of the involved students will be posted in the bulletin board either out side of my classroom or in the schoolÕs main bulletin board. Posters will also be exhibited in the bulletin board. Best articles and photocopy of the posters will be published in the yearbook.


4Q model for students to help their interrogation and solving the problem:


In this experiment students want to know if the butterflies prefer any color in the sugar water?


1Q: What materials are needed to find out the ButterflyÕs preference of any particular color in the sugar water?


Butterflies-6                Butterfly box-1           three stands for the butterfly sit and drink sugar water and to lay eggs on                        sugar water containing small bottles,-one with no color, one with green color, and one with orange color.

Light source,   screen to cover the front of the box   


2Q: What do the butterflies do?

(They sit on the stand to drink the sugar water. They also sit on the stand to lay the eggs)

(Students have learnt this from their observation and from prior knowledge ).


3Q: How do I know which is the preferred color by the butterflies? What do I need to do?


Count the number of the eggs that are present on each stand with different colored sugar water. Arrange in a table form.

Also observe for half an hour daily for three days to see how many times butterfly visits each of the colored sugar water. This information is entered to table form.


4Q: How do the butterfly respond?


(As the butterfly sits to drink the sugar water, it will lay eggs near the top of the same stand

Butterfly visits the preferred color sugar water more frequently.) 


Summary:  Observation shows that all six Butterflies visit orange colored sugar water more frequently. More eggs are present near orange colored sugar water stand. This summarizes that butterflies prefer orange color.