From Caterpillar to Butterfly

Our class wrote this together to tell you more about what we are learning: 

Our class adopted painted lady caterpillars.  We are observing them as they grow and change and go through the different life stages. We would like to share with you what we’ve learned so far about our painted lady caterpillars.

We have had our larvae or caterpillars since May 17th.  They are black in colour and have three main parts. These parts are the head, thorax and abdomen.  They also have legs and prolegs.  The legs are the six at the front and the prolegs are at the back.  The anal prolegs are the two at the very, very back.  The prolegs are false legs but help the larva to hang upside down. They also have spiracles (breathing holes) on their back and spines (sharp spikes). So if a predator touches them, it will seem blurry to them so that helps protect them in the wild.

They ate a lot and then their bodies grew longer and wider.  They ate the nutrients we gave them.  When they were in a J-shape, we knew they were getting ready to go into a chrysalis.  When they were in their J-shapes, they were hanging on things that looked like threads.  But that was silk that came out of their spinnerets.  When they move their head back and forth, that means they’re probably using their spinnerets.

Now they are in the pupa stage of the life cycle.  Now they are a brownish-grayish-red.  Their colouring is very similar to trees.  We think this helps them to camouflage with trees in the wild.  We think that when they are ready, their chrysalis will open from the bottom and they will emerge.

We are really enjoying watching our caterpillars turn into butterflies.  We think it’s neat that they go through different stages of the life cycle.  We are so happy and excited to be raising them, and we can’t wait until they emerge as butterflies!



CAUTION: Engineers At Work!

We have been hired to design, build and advertise a mechanism that serves a specific purpose.  Our mechanism can either help move an elephant safely from one zoo to another zoo OR it can be a new ride for an amusement park.

Here’s a sneak peak of some of the projects already underway.

We will be creating advertisements to go with our projects.  Today we looked at a couple of examples of advertisements and talked about how advertisers usually have a target audience in mind.  The advertisers want to convince their target audience of an idea, or convince them to purchase their product.

Our Liquids Race

Do you know what are the properties of liquids?  Liquids do not have their own shape.  They always take the shape of the container.  Liquids can be gooey or runny.  On January 16th, we did an experiment with three different kinds of liquids.  For this experiment, we put a glob of ketchup, mustard and honey on top of a baking tray.  We predicted which liquid would run faster and which liquid would run slower if we tilted the tray.  Next, we tilted the tray to see what would happen.  At first the mustard was going faster than the other liquids.  Then ketchup started running even faster and started reaching the bottom first.  It looked like it was going to be a really close race! Some of us thought ketchup would win!  Then something unexpected happened.  The glob of honey had been the slowest liquid of all but right before the ketchup was about to hit the bottom of the tray, the glob of honey fell down!  It landed on the bottom of the tray before the ketchup reached the bottom.  We thought the honey cheated in this race.  Ketchup was the fastest liquid in the end!  We really enjoyed this experiment because it was exciting.  Most of us were surprised to see what happened with the honey.