Caterpillar Craziness

Last Monday, one of my students came running in from recess with a twig to show me. "Look!" he said, "Eggs!" I took the small twig and examined it. I found what seemed to be a white bark covering it. "No", I told him, "I don't think those are eggs". He insisted that they were caterpillar eggs anyway. The next day, he brought a see-through container to put the "eggs" in along with some leaves. He went to the science teacher to borrow a microscope. After peering at his twig, he said to me "they ARE eggs!!". I looked, and sure enough, there were hundreds of tiny eggs covering the stick. I was dumbfounded!
I did some research and discovered that they looked a lot like painted lady butterfly eggs (a butterfly common across the country). Every day for days now, they check to see if the eggs have hatched. I was cautiously optimistic as I found out they could either take days or months to hatch.
Lo and behold, they hatched! I took a look in the clear box this morning before the first bell rang and thought they might have hatched, but they looked an awful lot like specks of dirt. They weren't moving, and when I gently blew on them, they just blew to the side. My ever-optimistic student checked and came running out of the classroom screaming that they had hatched! I pulled him aside and tried to explain that it was just dirt from the leaves, but he would hear none of it. He wouldn't even let me finish my sentence, just kept proclaiming for the world to hear that his eggs had hatched ("I saw them moving", he claimed). I went back inside to check, and sure enough, they were crawling--how did I miss that?
So, my classroom is now home to hundreds of microscopic caterpillars as well as nine ecstatic students. Ironically, the painted lady caterpillars that I had ordered through a magazine two weeks ago arrived in the mail today. There are five of them and they are quite a bit bigger. Needless to say, caterpillars are all my kids can think about or talk about these days....
I'll include pictures soon!


Anonymous said...

Isn't it wonderful what the students can teach you!

2 bees said...

Happy Birthday, dear Sarah!!!
Happy Birthday to youoouuu!!!!
You're so lucky you can't hear me singing this...
Hope your day is blessed with reminders of how beautiful and precious you are!
XXOO Brenda

Sabni said...

Review in Haiku/You were wrong a string of times/A three out of five

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