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This well-planned resource uses the life cycle of the Monarch butterfly to introduce the learners to the concepts of environmental stewardship and community service. Students discover how planting milkweed to help the butterflies is considered an act of philanthropy.
In the first lesson a story, a class discussion and a brainstorming activity are used to demonstrate the meanings of land stewardship and philanthropy. Students learn about the special relationship between the Milkweed plant and the Monarch. Students also label the four stages of the life cycle of the Monarch.
The second lesson builds on the first by having students listen and respond to a reading about the life cycle and migratory behavior of a butterfly. They demonstrate their understanding of butterfly metamorphosis by using pasta to represent the four stages of the Monarch's life cycle.
In the third lesson the students demonstrate what they have learned about the Monarch and take action in their community by raising money to purchase milkweed plants. The plants are then given to individuals who agree to establish a milkweed garden in support of the Monarch.
The resource explicitly teaches students to analyze their ecological footprints. They discover the importance of preserving the monarch butterfly by becoming philanthropists and by planting a garden for the butterflies.
The unit is well planned, and very student and teacher friendly.
It integrates several subject areas and provides discovery and experiential learning approaches.
It teaches younger students that they too can become philanthropists and it provides a very doable action plan for younger students.
Overall the unit has few weaknesses.
Older students in the school could be encouraged to help out the younger students.
Although mention is made to refer to websites for further research, the level of most of information might be a challenge for younger children.
The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives||Good|
This resource presents a positive bias in regards to the need to protect the Monarch butterfly species. Through readings from various books and background information different points of view are presented.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Good|
Although this unit is primarily for younger learners different dimensions of problems and solutions are addressed. For example, the importance of monarch butterfly gardens addresses the environmental dimension. Learning about philanthropy and how to become a responsible citizen address the social dimension of the issue.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
The structure of the lessons in the unit respects the complexity of problems involved in preserving the monarch butterfly. The lessons are designed to provide the necessary information and involve students in community action culminating in a plan to plant butterfly gardens.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Good|
Raising money and planting the gardens with support from families and the community provide a very good action experience for the students.
|Acting on Learning: |
Learning moves from understanding issues to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community, or for the planet
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Poor/Not considered|
This is not considered in this resource.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).|
|Personal Affinity with Earth||Good|
The planting of the gardens will be taking place out-of-doors.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
These lessons will be relevant to any community in which Monarchs are found.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Good|
The background information provides an understanding of the past. The reading of the books and researching the life cycles of the butterfly address the present and planting the gardens is a positive step for the future.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
The lessons are structured to include discussion and reflection as well as hands-on activities to allow for more than one "right' answer.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
An integrated approach is used in this unit. Language Arts incorporates the reading of stories, discussion and reflection, Science includes the study of the life cycles and the migration of the monarch butterfly. Art activities include drawing the monarch and Social Studies lessons include learning about philanthropy and how to become a more responsible citizen.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
The structure of the unit allows for all students to proceed at their own pace. A variety of activity types will appeal to a range of learning styles.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
Participating in philanthropy and planting a garden for the butterflies are direct and authentic experiences related to the goals of the unit.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
The students do some of their work in the unit in smaller groups.
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Good|
In the first lesson the assessment is based on the teacher's observation of the students' ability to show the four stages of the life cycle of the monarch butterfly. In the second lesson a rubric is provided to evaluate the sequencing of the stages of the Life Cycle of the Monarch Butterfly. Older learners will write a paragraph about the life cycle of the butterfly. In the third lesson the assessment is teacher observation during class discussion and reflection.
|Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.|
|Peer Teaching||Poor/Not considered|
There are opportunities for older students to work with the younger ones although it is not suggested in the unit.
|Peer Teaching: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
|Case Studies||Poor/Not considered|
Specific case studies are not cited in this unit although valuable information is provided in the background materials and websites listed in the resource.
|Case Studies: |
Relevant case studies are included. Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore concepts in an authentic context.
|Locus of Control||Good|
The lessons in this unit contain service project examples, however it is suggested that decisions about service plans and their implementation are best made by the students.
|Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.|