The Beautiful Butterfly

 am reminded that cycles are very much a part of our life.  One that easily comes to mind at this time of year is that of the beautiful butterfly.   I find it a cycle that is very familiar and one that a younger child is taught early in the science instruction in our elementary schools. There is such excitement that comes over a child when the caterpillar spins itself into a chrysalis,  and after a time emerges as a beautiful butterfly.  It is a sight that will never be forgotten in my mind.   The butterfly lives for a time and then lays eggs.  Of course, it all starts over with that egg and begins once again to carry out the cycle of the butterfly.

I think it correct to say we enjoy the miracle of birth or is it rebirth?  I am safe to say most of us remember very little about our birth, mine is written about in a baby book my mother kept. And, eventually, the parent for some reason wants you to know about your birth.  I call that rebirth, finding out about your birth.  It is also triggered when you observe the birth of animals or even plants.  Everything yes, ends in some form of a nonliving state, but we dwell too much on nonliving parts of the cycles.  Birth and rebirth are amazing, even though very scientific, a very emotional time for humans and animals. A trip to the local fair to see the pigs born to a sow can show the children how well animals take care of the newborns.  Children just beam and ask questions about birth, and it usually leads to a discussion of their own birth.  Yes, the children are born again, or in a sense experience rebirth.  It reminds them of how special they are and of course how special mom and dad are at this stage of the cycle of life.

Back to the butterfly, this is not the only animal that begins its cycle with an egg and goes through all stages and then begins again passing on genetic information.  There are many unique and different staged cycles to observe by a walk in the woods or a close look in your own backyard. I suggest you get your kids and buy a couple of insect guides or animal books and go look for animals and study their cycles.  You might just have a rebirthing of your own.

Published byJohn Larabee

John Larabee received his Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in 1973 and his Master Degree in Mathematics and Science Education in 1983, both from Ohio University. He began teaching in 1973 and finished 35 years of teaching in elementary and Junior High English, Science, and Mathematics prior to his retirement in 2008. During his years in the classroom, John developed innovative ways to assist student learning through the development of creative, interactive science units and attention to each student's unique learning style.

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