Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Illinois Butterflies Workshop

This past Saturday, I had the opportunity to attend an AWESOME workshop held at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago.
The workshop was called Illinois Butterflies and not only did it teach me about the native butterflies to my area, but the facilitators also gave us fantastic hands-on lesson plans and activities to teach about butterfly adaptations, insect body parts, how insects see things, and so on. The museum also features a Butterfly Haven where you can walk in a humid room filled with beautiful tropical butterflies!
Here is the edible insect I made that can help teach about body parts! You can see the head, thorax, and abdomen, as well as the insect's legs, complex eyes, and antennae!
The other teachers at my table made cool insects, too. The facilitators encouraged us to make our edible insects using any materials we wanted - so many turned out differently. Clearly mine was the most simple...

Later, we got to visit the Butterfly Haven. It was so interesting in there! I think it would be a great place to take students on a field trip. AND! They said if you raise butterflies in your classroom, they encourage you to bring your new butterflies to their haven to release them (instead of releasing them near your school).


After we walked through the Butterfly Haven, we saw the chrysalises that the butterflies come out of. Butterfly farms from a wide variety of tropical regions send chrysalises to the museum. I saw some from Suriname and Malaysia, to name a few places. As soon as they shed their chrysalis, they are released into the Haven!


It was an awesome workshop run by the staff of the nature museum as well as the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. I can't wait for next year so I can teach all about insects!!

4 comments:

  1. That is SO cool! I would love to go to a workshop like that. I like the idea of releasing them in the Haven...I always feel bad for the ones released in the neighborhood, I worry they might not make it. The Haven is beautiful too, that must have been awesome to see!
    Kristen :)

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  2. Those are beautiful pictures!! Sounds like you had a lot of fun :o)

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  3. I love Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and have taken several of my classes there for workshops. The instructors take a great interest in the children. I can tell they enjoy their jobs.
    I have also attended many IDNR ENTICE workshops at various locations. They are well worth the time spent attending. KUDOS to both the Peggy Notebaert and the IDNR. I wish I had attended the butterfly workshop. It looked like educational fun.

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