The February 2012 Discovery Days! program, Busy Butterflies, introduced children to the concept of symmetry through examination of butterfly wings.
The program opened with a short movie of butterflies in flight followed by a slide show of butterflies. The children then played a matching game using photos of butterflies displayed all around the Louisiana 4-H Museum. First, they paraded around the museum pretending to be butterflies dancing to the original song "Myst" by Shelton Skerrett. The butterfly photos were pointed out to them along the way. Next, each child was given a card picturing half of a butterfly; their task was to find the matching butterfly photo, requiring them to closely observe the colors and patterns in the wings. Each child discovered 4-6 matching butterflies as they eagerly traded in their matched photo cards for new ones.
To further focus the youth on the concept of symmetry, museum director Rose Anne St. Romain showed children a large line drawing of a butterfly. Guided by the children's choices of colors, St. Romain colored the wing shapes with matching color patterns on both wings. The children then received coloring sheets of the same butterfly drawing and practiced creating a symmetrically colored butterfly.
Children also had the opportunity to examine real butterflies with magnifying glasses and to compare them to other insects.
To expand the program, Roman Hill, Avoyelles AgCenter intern, introduced the life cycle of butterflies while reading them a big book. The oversized photos and interactive game at the end of the book engaged the children's attention.
Photos of children engaged in the activities are below.
|Matching half of butterfly to a whole one. |
|Creating symmetry in the colors of a butterfly wing.|
|Examining a butterfly using a magnifying glass.|
|Coloring a butterfly's wings symmetrically.|
|Listening to a story about the life cycle of butterflies.|
|Comparing butterflies to other insects.|