Category Archives: Monarch Butterfly Rescue Grant

Sts. Peter & Paul School Monarch Butterfly Rescue Grant Program April Update

This post was contributed by Connie Lake and Deb Moffit, NCEA Monarch Grant Program Teacher Leaders.

This month, the students have been learning about pollinators and the body parts of insects. With this knowledge they will begin to draw insects along with labeling the body parts. They will also be observing and counting the number of milkweed present in the garden as well as planning a new garden using the measurement of circles and equilateral triangles.

A guest speaker will be teaching about honey-bee life, kinds of bee, honey, beekeeping, swarms and the importance of protecting bees.

We will also be educating preschoolers at an Ooey Gooey night about the monarch cycle, helping them make a butterfly, catching butterflies, emerging them from cocoon (wrapping in toilet paper and having them ’emerge’ and fly away!

Learn more about Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic School’s Monarch butterfly activities and more on Facebook and the Our Mustard Seed blog.

Sts. Peter & Paul School in Nauvoo, Illinois, is a two-time 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.

Follow the Monarch Butterfly conversation using #NCEAMonarch, search NCEA Talk using keyword Monarch Butterfly Rescue and view the Monarch Inspiration Gallery on Pinterest.

Saint Paul’s School Monarch Butterfly Rescue Grant Program April Update

This post was contributed by Ann Pfalzgraf, NCEA Monarch Grant Program Teacher Leader.

It has been a busy month for us here at St. Paul’s School in Covington, LA. We do hope that all will enjoy and we hope that the public may learn something about monarch butterflies from our video!

Most of the month was spent on preparing for the video shoot. Roles were assigned, research was conducted, and visuals were created.  A huge thanks goes out to John Myers from our video graphics class that helped us with the video!

Our garden is now complete!!  We now have to patiently await for the milkweed to grown and the butterflies to appear!

As you can see, our garden has taken off!  We have had a very rainy month, so our plants are growing quite quickly.  Our Asclepsia tuberosa has grown and is filling out nicely.  Our  Coreopsis lanceolata is blooming…hopefully we will see its yellow flowers soon!

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Stay tuned for the latest edition of St. Paul’s Paper Wolf digital news story about their progress. The story will be shared on their Facebook page as well as St. Paul’s Environmental Wolves page located under the Student Life tab, under Environmental Science..

Learn more about Saint Paul’s School Monarch butterfly activities on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Saint Paul’s School in Covington, Louisiana, 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.

 Follow the Monarch butterfly conversation using #NCEAMonarch, search NCEA Talk using keyword Monarch Butterfly Rescue and view the Monarch Inspiration Gallery on Pinterest.

STREAM in action: The Monarch Rescue Project

This post was contributed by Andrea Kopp, NCEA Resource Manager.

Monarch Butterflies are both beautiful and delicate creatures.  The declining population of these pollinators has been a passion project of several NCEA grant recipients through the Monarch Rescue Project.  Teachers are framing the scientific study of Monarch Butterflies through the lens of Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si.   Using Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics; Monarch Rescue schools are using the STREAM curriculum model to influence the well-being of the planet.

Our Monarch Teachers are creating lesson plans, videos, art and projects all centered on the saving the Monarchs.   Check out the great work our Monarch Rescue Schools have been doing at http://www.ncea.org/our-services/ncea-monarch-rescue-schools-program-grant.

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The Monarch Rescue Project Grant Program is in its second year.  Through the generosity of donor Dr. Judith Wagner, schools were selected to receive funding to create and maintain Monarch waystations, planting milkweed along the migratory path of the butterfly.  Among the criteria for gaining this grant was the development of STREAM lessons and units on the Monarch Butterfly and incorporating principles from Laudato Si.  One of our Monarch Rescue Grant Teachers will be selected to present at the STREAM 2.0 Symposium this summer.  The STREAM 2.0 Symposium will be held in Aston, PA on June 27-29, 2016.  You can find information and registration here: https://www.ncea.org/events/stream-20-symposium

Share your ideas for saving the Monarch and Follow the Monarch butterfly conversation on social media by using #NCEAMonarch. Don’t forget to search NCEA Talk using keyword Monarch Butterfly Rescue and view the Monarch Inspiration Gallery on Pinterest.

St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic School Monarch Butterfly Rescue Grant Program April Update

This post was contributed by Holly Rice, NCEA Monarch Grant Program Teacher Leader.

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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!

Learn more about St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic School’s Monarch butterfly activities and more on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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.

Follow the Monarch butterfly conversation using #NCEAMonarch, search NCEA Talk using keyword Monarch Butterfly Rescue and view the Monarch Inspiration Gallery on Pinterest.

Saint Margaret Mary Catholic School Monarch Butterfly Rescue Grant Program March Update

This post was contributed by Kate Rezac, NCEA Monarch Grant Program Teacher Leader

Our lens has changed this year, and now we view our learning with a new perspective. We find the importance of the Monarch, the beauty of creation, the value of citizen science, and the blessings of creation around us every single day.  We are waiting for the blooms and for the butterflies to return.

We recently read nonfiction texts and examined features like headings, illustrations, captions, diagrams, and maps.  We read migration stories of Monarchs, whales, and whooping cranes.   We were touched to see the efforts of Operation Migration.  They work to support the cranes as they migrate.  Students used iPads to “meet” some of the cranes and follow their migration path at www.journeynorth.org.  We could not help but feel a special connection to them as we work to support the Monarchs.

The students also wanted to write letters of thanks to Dr. Wagner who made our Monarch grant possible.  Using topic sentences with supporting details, the students composed thoughtful letters stating why the Monarchs, the garden, and the efforts are so important.  It was beautiful to witness students constructing such meaningful letters.

With a skip in our step, we walked through the garden and saw tulips and daffodils emerging!  Our garden is one of the Journey North Tulip Test gardens.  We are one of the locations around the world that document the coming of spring and red emperor tulips.  Students and community members planted over 1,200 bulbs in the fall.  We are anxious to see the beauty unfold in the next few weeks.

Before the snow fell, individuals from the Nebraska Nature Conservancy came to visit our garden.  They have been in email contact with us, and they plan to share our efforts with the greater community in their spring bulletin.  We are grateful for their outstanding work around the state to be such leaders in being good stewards for creation.  We are blessed to do our small part.

Last spring students and community members who lost a special loved one created drawings.  These drawings were then burned into walnut wooden disks by a thoughtful volunteer.  Thanks to a family who donated the wood, we were able to include these special markers of special loved ones in the garden.  The Monarchs will love to perch on these beautiful and special pieces in the garden.  We were touched to see them, too.

We were saddened to see the cold winter storm that hit the Monarch sanctuaries in Mexico last week.  We examined weather maps and observed photos of the snow covered Monarchs.  We pray for the Monarchs to survive and prosper despite their hurdles and challenges.  We pray for a safe journey for these marvelous migrants.  We pray for people to help these amazing creatures by planting milkweed, providing nectar plants, reducing harmful chemicals, and being mindful of Monarch habitats.  We also pray in thanksgiving for the beauty, the strength, the transformation of the Monarch….we can learn so much from this butterfly.

Learn more about Saint Margaret Mary Catholic School’s Monarch butterfly activities and more on Facebook and Twitter.

Saint Margaret Mary School in Omaha, Nebraska, is a two-time 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.

Follow the Monarch Butterfly conversation using #NCEAMonarch, search NCEA Talk using keyword Monarch Butterfly Rescue and view the Monarch Inspiration Gallery on Pinterest.

St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic School Monarch Butterfly Rescue Grant Program March Update

This post was contributed by Holly Rice, NCEA Monarch Grant Program Teacher Leader.

A lot of progress has been made in the past month with St. Elizabeth’s school courtyard.  We tilled the ground and added new soil.  Rain in the past week has slowed progress but sunny skies are predicted for the future!  A local nursery has started the plants, including milkweed, and once they are ready, we will begin planting.  We are also adding two smaller gardens to plant milkweed.  Students have been learning about butterfly migration and factors that affect migrations.  Teachers and students continue to focus on how all of God’s creations need to be cared for.  During our Saturday courtyard renovations, parents, teachers, and students have developed a sense of community for our school.  Everyone is looking forward to spring planting and watching the results of our work!

Learn more about St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic School’s Monarch butterfly activities and more on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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.

Follow the Monarch butterfly conversation using #NCEAMonarch, search NCEA Talk using keyword Monarch Butterfly Rescue and view the Monarch Inspiration Gallery on Pinterest.

Saint Paul’s School Monarch Butterfly Rescue Grant Program March Update

This post was contributed by Ann Pfalzgraf, NCEA Monarch Grant Program Teacher Leader.

The St. Paul’s Environmental Class has been busy building a brick bed to plant the majority of our milkweed and other native LA nectar producing plants.  Five dwarf wax myrtles will be planted to the back of the bed.  They will provide a wind barrier and shelter for the butterflies.

A math activity was conducted with the students to determine how much soil to order to fill the bed.  Bed dimensions (25 ‘ x 5 ‘ x 1.5 ‘).  7 cubic yards of a 3:2:1 mixture of coarse sand, aged pine bark, and aged manure was purchased for us by the school.  The brick bed will be completed this week and filled with the soil.  Planting is scheduled for next Monday, March 28.  We have already planted some donated milkweed in our nature/pond area.

In class, we watched the documentary “The Flight of the Butterfly.”  The film is 53 minutes and covers the butterfly yearly migration from eastern Canada to Mexico.  We learned that the Mexicans celebrate the arrival of the Monarch butterflies in conjunction with their El Dia De Los Muertos Celebration.  They believe that the butterflies return each year carrying the souls of their dead.  We too celebrate the Day of the Dead at St. Paul’s each November 2nd.  We have already arranged with the Spanish Dept. moderator to include the Monarch butterfly on the altar this coming November!

The students are also busily preparing to film our video.  We have decided to film a PSA-type video.  Each student has an assigned role to research (ex. life cycle, migration, threats, solutions, etc.).  They will then produce a visual for their topic and a script for their portion of the video.  We have sought assistance from our video production class to help us with the video.

Between planting, maintaining, researching, creating visuals, and writing scripts for our video, I believe the class will be quite busy for the next month! Learn more about Saint Paul’s School Monarch butterfly activities and more on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Saint Paul’s School in Covington, Louisiana, 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.

 Follow the Monarch butterfly conversation using #NCEAMonarch, search NCEA Talk using keyword Monarch Butterfly Rescue and view the Monarch Inspiration Gallery on Pinterest.

Sts. Peter & Paul School Monarch Butterfly Rescue Grant Program March Update

This post was contributed by Connie Lake and Deb Moffit, NCEA Monarch Grant Program Teacher Leaders.

Enthusiasm for our Monarch Rescue Garden continues to ignite the 5th/6th grade students as they watch nature’s visitors to the garden and watch the changes taking place.  We’ve seen birds pick pieces of old leaves and vine off of our trellis and take it away to build their nest. The tulips that we planted last fall are beginning to grow and we have found that some of our wildflowers are also sticking their heads up out of the ground (leaves are beginning to show).

We have begun a blog on our school’s webpage so we can report what’s happening in nature and what we are learning in the classroom.  We are building a model of an Oyamel fir forest with roosting butterflies that is located in the main hall of the school for the other students to see.

On Tuesday mornings we now have Citizen Scientist Tuesday’s when Miss Deb comes in to teach us about various topics related to the garden.  We learned about pollination, the parts of the flower and different types of pollinators and we will be learning how to be citizen scientists.

On February 19, we had a conference call interview with the newspaper for the Peoria Diocese, The Catholic Post.  The article was in the February 28, 2016 issue of the paper.

Considering STREAM teaching; we are learning a lot of science; for technology, we are learning to maintain our blog; for religion, we learned about St. Francis of Assissi and how he saw God in all of creation and treated everything with dignity; for math, we calculated the distance from our school to the Oyamel fir forest in Mexico.  Next months’ topics will include art and engineering.

The other classes are also learning about the butterflies. The Kindergarten class learned about symmetry and butterflies, and the 1st/2nd grade class worked on color patterns and symmetry and made their own color patterns on a caterpillar.

Mrs. Lake and Miss Deb are developing the 5th/6th grade lesson plans and have been collecting the butterfly-related lesson plans from the other teachers in the school.  We are trying to determine how to share these with the rest of the group.

Learn more about Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic School’s Monarch butterfly activities and more on Facebook and the Our Mustard Seed blog.

Sts. Peter & Paul School in Nauvoo, Illinois, is a two-time 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.

Follow the Monarch Butterfly conversation using #NCEAMonarch, search NCEA Talk using keyword Monarch Butterfly Rescue and view the Monarch Inspiration Gallery on Pinterest.

St. Joseph Catholic School Monarch Butterfly Rescue Grant Program March Update

This post was contributed by Ashley Davis, NCEA Monarch Grant Program Teacher Leader.

We have just been hitting it left and right in our butterfly garden at Saint Joseph’s Catholic School. Last week we not only did some activities with our class, but we did an area activity with our other third grade class.  I also did an angle activity with a 6th grade class in the garden and some of my third graders helped implement a 5-senses activity with one of our preschool classes!

My class blogged on two of these activities and I plan on blogging on the 6th grade angle activity during prep period today.

Check it out!

This week we have planned some cleanup activities with the rest of the 6th grade and we planned on spreading a dump truck load of dirt, as well, in preparation for our National Plant A Flower Celebration we are having on Friday here at Saint Joes.  But, the weather looks like a downpour all week besides today, so that may all be postponed until next week.

Learn more about St. Joseph Catholic School’s Monarch butterfly activities and more on Facebook.

St. Joseph Catholic School in Fayetteville, Arkansas, 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.

Follow the Monarch butterfly conversation using #NCEAMonarch, search NCEA Talk using keyword Monarch Butterfly Rescue and view the Monarch Inspiration Gallery on Pinterest.

Saint Paul’s School Monarch Butterfly Rescue Grant Program February Update

This post was contributed by Ann Pfalzgraf, NCEA Monarch Grant Program Teacher Leader.

(Republished from the Envirowolves blog)

We are constructing the butterfly garden due to the endangerment of the Monarch butterfly species. In recent times significant efforts have been made to plant and nurture milkweed plants to encourage the reproduction of Monarch butterflies. Butterflies are very important in the environment due to their ability as a pollinator. We have decided to join many other people in the effort of supporting the Monarch butterflies by planting multiple swamp milkweed plants and providing other plants for the butterflies’ attraction.

Learn more about Saint Paul’s School Monarch butterfly activities and more on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Saint Paul’s School in Covington, Louisiana, 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.

Follow the Monarch Butterfly conversation using #NCEAMonarch, search NCEA Talk using keyword Monarch Butterfly Rescue and view the Monarch Inspiration Gallery on Pinterest.