North Shore Country Day's senior kindergarten class recently paraded around the school dressed as monarch butterflies, singing songs and displaying their handmade wings with their parents and our community.
The students learned all about monarchs through an integrated curriculum that incorporated literacy, math, science, social studies and art. Beginning with the life cycle, children were immersed in a classroom with eggs, caterpillars, chrysalides and monarch butterflies. They were invited to hold caterpillars and release the butterflies from their hands, helping to foster love and empathy for these insects.
The children examined a caterpillar and egg under a microscope, and learned how to determine if a butterfly was male or female. They collected data on how many male and female monarch butterflies they released and created a pictograph using the data.
Students observed the butterfly’s wings and discussed symmetry. They learned about the monarch migration to Mexico and how they typically arrive around the time of Dia De Los Muertos. They also learned about the importance of the milkweed plant and why it should be incorporated into gardens.
Next, they built a monarch garden in the classroom, showing what the butterflies need to survive. The children created a community book about monarchs filled with a fact and illustration from each child to document their learning.
At the end of the unit, the children painted monarch wings, then dressed as monarchs and “migrated” to Mexico during their parade around the school. The hope is that by raising and becoming monarchs the students will grow up to protect butterflies and other living things.
North Shore Country Day’s annual 10-minute play festival “Take 10” returned to the stage on April 13. For the first time in three years, students performed their original plays in front of a live audience with performances in the NSCD Auditorium.
All seven plays were written, produced and directed by students in the upper school directing class. Some were based on personal experience, observations and media events, while others stemmed from pure creativity. Once the scripts were finalized, the student directors held auditions, cast the roles and ran their own rehearsals.