Waiting for Butterflies at Wolf Hill

Oceanport second graders think about their own development as they await the transformation of the two chrysalis in their classroom into Monarch butterflies.

Two chrysalis hung from the mesh lid of a glass tank in Mrs. Lomazzo's second grade classroom at Wolf Hill on Monday and although at first glance nothing seemed to be happening, Monarch butterflies silently wait to burst from within and complete their transformation cycle some time in the next few days.

Aside from studying the journey from caterpillar to butterfly, students are also learning that, much like the winged insects, they are also changing and are linking both transformations as part of their health curriculum taught by Jackie Walling.

Walling, who has taught health and physical education at the Oceanport school for 34 years, has been using the chrysalis for about a decade to talk to students about what they need to grow and change.

On Monday morning, Walling sat on a stool while the second graders cozied up on the rug and chairs before her and talked about how to tell the difference between boy and girl butterflies and what gave the insects the strength to fly all the way to Mexico, where their two Monarchs will eventually journey.

Later, Walling read the children the picture book I Like Me, which encouraged kids to be who they are, and the class sat still as — well, chrysalis —  some with their chins cupped in their hands, and took it all in, maybe waiting for their own transformations.


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