Winged Wonders – Emerging Butterflies

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release day

Second graders at White Oak Elementary School recently participated in a new 4-H project – emerging butterflies! This butterfly life cycle process closely aligns with North Carolina Essential Standards.

The curriculum used for this project was called Winged Wonders: A North Carolina 4-H Butterfly Curriculum. The curriculum states, “youth will observe the wonders of the natural world unfolding in front of them by raising painted lady butterflies from larva through adulthood. Youth will experience the mystery of the butterfly life cycle while engaging in hands-on activities that explore concepts of insect structures and functions, compare insect behaviors and life cycles, and demonstrate the role everyone can play in environmental stewardship.”

Youth learned about the four stages of the butterfly life cycle: egg, larva, pupa, adult. A caterpillar first emerges from an egg; the larva (caterpillar) then eats and grows, forms a chrysalis (pupa) and emerges as an adult butterfly. This life cycle is referred to as complete metamorphosis.

Each classroom was provided a kit of supplies to complete the project including, butterfly larvae, butterfly habitat cage, Winged Wonders curriculum, water container, sponge, spray bottle, safety pins, and craft/lesson supplies.

In a post-program evaluation, one teacher commented, “My students learned so much. One student was extremely afraid of the caterpillars and butterflies; by the end, he was the one that helped release them. He even let them crawl on his finger!” Another teacher commented on how her students “gained real time, first-hand knowledge of the life cycle.”

For more information on Chowan County 4-H, please contact Camaryn Byrum at or 252-482-6585.


WOS 2nd grade teachers with their Winged Wonders kits.

life cycle

Youth projects outlining the life cycle of butterflies.

release day