Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Today was Grandfriends Day. Kindergartners continued working on their observations of the caterpillars in our classroom and viewed the photographs posted from the ISS last evening. Our caterpillars are growing and are fairly still today even though the classroom is warm and their food is still available in the food boxes in the rearing chambers.
In space, the caterpillars have begun to pupate. In photos, the pupas look greenish. Each caterpillar positioned itself at a different place, curling up like a letter "C" before shedding it's skin for the very last time. On earth, caterpillars hang toward the ground in a letter "J." One pupa is detatched and floating in the box. On earth if this happens, the pupa falls to the ground. In space, the pupa floats. Still floating in the box is a lot of frass!
To gain an appreciation for how a caterpillar moves when it crawls, we took turn holding two caterpillars today. Kindergartners reported the caterpillars felt soft and ticklish. Very gently and with utmost patience (truly, it is remarkable the level of mindfulness a child gives a special task such as this!) the kindergartners offered the caterpillars the texture of their open palms and wooden popsicle stick. On the popsicle stick, the caterpillars walked along the edge, demonstrating excellent balance and interest in crawling. At times they leaned off the popsicle stick, holding on with only their suction cup legs (prolegs). We thought the caterpillars loved being out of their boxes for a morning stretch. They performed their caterpillars moves brilliantly!