The Magic School Bus and the Butterfly and Bog Beast
To protect themselves, butterflies can blend in with their surroundings or pretend to be something they're not. Your students make a butterfly with shapes, designs, and colors that help protect it from predators.
- Grades: 1–2, 3–5
About this book
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!
Time: 30 minutes
Group Size: One
What You Need
- Several sheets of construction paper
- Copy of Tricky Butterflies page
- Sheet of notebook paper
- Several containers of glue for the group
Talk About It
Ask: How does the way butterflies look help protect them?
What to Do
- Begin by asking your students the following questions:
- 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?
- Give each group the materials and have children design butterflies that can protect themselves. They should choose to design either a tricker (has eye spots or startling colors, or resembles foul-tasting butterflies) or a hider (colors work as camouflage).
- When your students have finished their butterflies, ask them to swap butterflies with each other. Ask students to explain how their partners' butterflies protect themselves.