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PreK 2 Releases Butterflies Amongst the New York City Skyline

May 30, 2023

For the past few weeks, students in PreK 2 have been entrenched in an academic unit about insects and plants led by Ms. McCarthy and Ms. Merritt. In order to bring their lessons to life, they were tasked with observing and caring for a pod of caterpillars which, over the course of three weeks, transformed into butterflies. The class pets allowed for students to learn about more specific concepts like the life cycle of butterflies, but also allowed for them to practice broader academic skills including identification (What do butterflies look like?), counting (How many legs do butterflies have?), vocabulary (i.e., words like chrysalis, pupa, etc.), and general responsibility. These lessons would continue for a few days, ultimately culminating in a fun butterfly release. In preparation for the release of their butterflies, PreK 2 worked with Early Childhood & Lower School Librarian Ms. Seitner to create colorful butterfly wings out of laminate, construction, and tissue paper. After enjoying a story time about the many different types of butterflies in the world, students got to work crafting vibrant wings of their own, which would provide a pop of color to the festivities. The project allowed for students to apply what they’d learned in the classroom (and in the art studio) in a creative way. On the day of the butterfly release, PreK 2 students donned their wings and were joined by their peers in PreK 4 and Grade 3 on the 8th floor balcony. Each student had the chance to view the butterflies up close before they eventually flew away amongst the New York City skyline. This academic unit and event, which takes place during the Spring each year, is also great practice at another skill integral to anyone’s life: saying goodbye. With closing ceremonies and summer break just around the corner, this project allows for some of Léman’s youngest learners to visualize what it may look like to say farewell to the friends they’ve made, the teachers they’ve learned with, and the classroom they’ve become confident in over the course of the school year. While this concept can be difficult for anyone at any age, it is the hope that the butterfly release can bring PreK 2 students some comfort and build up their confidence as they prepare to move on to the next stage of their academic lives.


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