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Students in Piseco Common School's After School Program hold up butterfly life stage cards they arranged in order from egg to caterpillar to pupa to adult during a presentation on metamorphosis. (Photo submitted)


Students study metamorphosis

Monday, April 08, 2013 - Updated: 8:54 PM

Caitlin Stewart

Special to the News

LAKE PLEASANT - Elementary students used their imagination to morph from eggs into butterflies during an interactive lesson led by the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District and hosted by Piseco Common School's After School Program March 6.

Nine students listened to Conservation Educator Caitlin Stewart read "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carl as they enjoyed a healthy fruit salad snack prepared by the After School Program.

In the story, a very hungry caterpillar ate everything but the kitchen sink, chowing down on comestibles like apples, grapes, chocolate cake, ice cream, a pickle, Swiss cheese, salami, a lollipop, an entire cherry pie and a leaf. All that gorging was for good reason, as the caterpillar was preparing for metamorphosis, or a change through life's development stages.


With the help of a few simple props, students applied what they learned from the story and acted out butterfly metamorphosis. They represented the egg stage by folding their arms over their shoulders, tucking their heads in, and remaining very still.

Eggs hatched into caterpillars, and students wiggled and inched their way across the floor looking for food. They then wrapped up in a protective case of a blanket and dangled from "leaf" tables, symbolizing the pupal stage.

Students completed their metamorphosis when they emerged from their cocoons as adult butterflies and fluttered around the classroom.


"Some kids already had a fantastic grasp on metamorphosis as they had raised butterflies in their classrooms," said Stewart. "Teamwork was the name of the game when older students helped the younger children arrange metamorphosis cards with pictures of a butterfly's four life stages in the correct order."

During these hands-on activities, students discovered that they are similar to butterflies because they, too, go through physical changes as they grow. This important link enhanced students' understanding of their natural world.

The Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District has been working to manage and promote the wise use of natural resources in Hamilton County since 1965. To schedule a free presentation for a classroom or library contact (518) 548-3991 or


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