The Magic School Bus Butterfly and the Bog Beast

Field Trip Notes
The school soccer team is about to play a big game - and they need a new mascot. Janet, Arnold's bossy cousin, suggests the 'Bog Beast' as mascot, and the class heads for Butterfly Bog in search of the beast. There, the bus shrinks to butterfly size, and the kids are tricked, surprised, and frightened by what they think are 'Bog Beasts.' The kids discover that 'Bog Beasts' are really butterflies - winged wonders that protect themselves with camouflage and mimicry. The kids agree: A butterfly will make a great mascot. If only they can unshrink themselves by game time!
Tricky Butterflies

Going Hands-On

Time: 30 minutes
Group Size: One

What You Need
Per child:
  • Several sheets of construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Crayons
  • Sheet of notebook paper
  • Several containers of glue for the group

Talk About It

Ask children:
How does the way butterflies look help protect them?

What To Do
  1. Ask: How would a butterfly have to look to blend in with a log? With a field of yellow flowers? (Kids should think about wing color, pattern, and shape - rounded wings may blend in with flowers.) What might happen to bright colors when a butterfly folds its wings? (Some wings are bright only on top and dull underneath, letting the butterfly blend in with dead leaves or logs.) Why do butterflies need these colors and designs?
  2. Give each group the materials and have children design butterflies that can protect themselves: Trickers (have eye spots, startling colors, or resemble foul-tasting butterflies) or Hiders (camouflage).

Next Stop
Have kids swap butterflies with each other. Ask: What can you tell about how the other children’s butterflies protect themselves?
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