This post was contributed by Holly Rice, NCEA Monarch Grant Program Teacher Leader.
The courtyard was finished two weeks ago and we have planted three different varieties of milkweed. Two are doing very good but one has started to die out. This has led to discussion with middle school about why the other two varieties of milkweed have thrived but another has not.
We are also busy working on the second garden in front of the school. After soil is moved we hope to have four varieties of milkweed planted. Students in all grades will take turns observing and making connections with the lessons they have been learning in class.
The past month St. Elizabeth students have been busy learning about monarch butterflies. Pre-K performed a song about the life cycle of a butterfly. Kindergarten and 1st grade learned about monarch migrations and with the help of 8th grade, went on their own migration. At the end of their journey they had juice pouches as nectar. In music students have been singing songs about butterflies and performed for the principal. The religion teacher has been teaching students about spring and rebirth. Students colored butterflies and wrote personal messages of thanks and spiritual growth.
As we approach our last month of school we will be busy monitoring the growth of the milkweed and hoping that we may see some monarch butterflies!
St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic School in Dallas, Texas, is a recipient of the NCEA Monarch Rescue Grant. Grantee schools will share monthly updates on their efforts in researching, planning, building, and maintaining the very best monarch-friendly butterfly gardens possible. They will monitor the success or failure of the garden, learning from problems they encounter to plan improvements in subsequent years. Most important, the developing learning modules will incorporate Catholic social teaching on stewardship of the resources God has provided us.