Monday, April 12, 2010

Monday Meanderings - Butterfly Project

As I was online over the weekend I stumbled across an amazing project that the Holocaust Museum Houston is putting on. They are asking for handcrafted butterflies to be submitted to them for a special exhibit that they are having in 2013. The reason that they have started this so early is that they want to collect 1.5 million butterflies to commemorate the 1,500,000 innocent Jewish children that were murdered during the Holocaust by the Nazis.

The butterfly was chosen to commemorate the children based on a poem titled The Butterfly that was written by Pavel Friedmann on June 4, 1942. Pavel Friedmann was born on January 7,1921 in Prague and was deported to Terezin on April 26, 1942. He died in Auschwitz on September 29, 1944. I have included the poem below.

The Butterfly
The last, the very last,
So richly, brightly, dazzlingly yellow.
Perhaps if the sun’s tears would sing
against a white stone….

Such, such a yellow
Is carried lightly way up high.
It went away I’m sure because it wished to
kiss the world good-bye.

For seven weeks I’ve lived in here,
Penned up inside this ghetto.
But I have found what I love here.
The dandelions call to me
And the white chestnut branches in the court.
Only I never saw another butterfly.

That butterfly was the last one.
Butterflies don’t live in here,
In the ghetto.

This will be a great project to do with your kids. You could also even turn it into a lesson on the Holocaust, if you feel your children are at an appropriate age to hear of this. Since my son is only three and a bit young to understand the Holocaust, as a continuation of the lesson, my son and I will be planting a butterfly garden in our yard.

To have an effective butterfly garden you will need to plant “Host Plants” and allow the caterpillars to snack on these. We will be planting:

Fennel (perennial)
Dill (short lived perennial)
Parsley (biennial)
Snapdragons (annuals)
Hollyhocks (bienneials)
Sunflowers (from seeds)

Once the caterpillars have grown into butterflies they will need nectar plants to feed on. For this we will be planting:

Coneflowers (perennials)
Butterfly Bush
Four o’clocks (from seeds)
Marigolds (annuals)
Zinnias (from seeds)
Cosmos (from seeds)
Sunflowers (from seeds)
Lantana (annuals)
Salvia (annuals)
Sage (annuals)
Lavender (perennial)

We will also be making butterfly snacks with this project.

Our chosen snacks will include a butterfly sandwich and apple butterflies.
Cut a slice of bread diagonally. Place a baby carrot in the center of a plate and put the bread on the plate so that the points touch the middle of the carrots. Spread the bread with a colored cream cheese (like strawberry) and then use a variety of snacks to decorate the bread. We will be using Fruit Loops, sliced bananas and carrot coins. For the antennas we will be using pull apart licorices.
For the apple butterflies, core an apple and slice into wedges. Take a slice of celery and spread it with cream cheese and put raisins on the cream cheese. Put the celery, raisin side up in the middle of the plate, put an apple wedge on each side as the wings and then use pretzel sticks as the antennas.
I will also be using butterfly cookie cutters to cut out cheese slices and including some of the fruits from The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.

I hope you will take time out to participate in the Butterfly Project for the Holocaust Museum Houston. All of the registration information can be obtained from their website. Once you make your crafts, please send us photos to include on our blog. We would also love to hear about any extensions you do on this lesson.

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