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In the Classroom: The Starfish

It all started with the leaves

The Starfish recently found several leaves on a tree at Penn Alexander's playground. Upon closer observation, they noticed how these leaves were the same. They all had bulbous growths on their undersides that opened up to holes on the tops of the leaves.

This began a discussion and the children guessed that some kind of bug had laid eggs on them but we didn't know which kind.

Not long after, a Firefly friend found a fat, brown caterpillar with fake eyes on its back on our nature playground in the Mud Kitchen. A green one with the same markings showed up in the playground's art area a few days later. 

I found a caterpillar identification page (who ever heard of such a thing?) online and we learned that they were Tiger Swallowtails and that their eggs were laid on leaves. Ooh! We looked for more leaves like the ones we found at Penn Alexander and sure enough, we found some over the balancing logs.

So, our Magic Circle Nature Playground truly is an outdoor classroom... and also a butterfly nursery! Now when we see pale yellow wings flutter by we are not just thrilled by the sight, we are reminded of our all our discoveries, too!