Monarchs and Milkweed

Students from the Pre-k classes came by the Family Resource Center ELSEE garden and sat on a tarp on the ground to listen to today’s lesson. Today’s focus was on the milkweed and monarch butterfly. The monarch travels from Canada to Michoacan, Mexico during the time of November- March.

We listened to traditional music from Morelia, Michoacán as we partook in our own butterfly migration throughout the garden. The song, Danza de los Viejitos is also a spiritual dance among the Indigenous Purépecha to call upon four elements, colors, and numbers for specific prayers. As we migrated through the garden the children were able to explore all the different flowers blooming, including blue flax, yellow evening primrose, pink clarkia, and white yarrow and cilantro flowers.

For snack, we enjoyed a butterfly pea flower lemonade and delicious homemade sage pesto. Students couldn’t get enough of the snacks today!

The sage pesto was made with:
Cleveland sage, kale, sunflower seeds, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

To make the lemonade, first we brewed butterfly pea flowers which makes a rich midnight blue color. We then mixed it with a lemonade made with fresh lemons and agave syrup. The lemonade has high acidity because of the lemons. Because the butterfly pea flower drink has a basic pH, when mixed with the lemonade a chemical reaction occurs where the drink transforms from blue to violet.

The children were able to smell the scent of the cleveland sage flowers and explore the garden for other scented herbs like mint, California everlasting, cilantro, and lemon verbena.

The teachers shared a song about the different stages of the monarch from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly and the children were excited to see a visual of the monarch caterpillar and butterfly.

The kids were led in a butterfly yoga stretch on their tarp:

The children always engage their bodies, minds, and spirits in a myriad of ways in the teaching garden. Watching them grow and learn with us is an invaluable gift.