Pointview kindergarten students dive into butterfly life cycles

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Pointview Elementary kindergarten teacher TJ Potterf stood at the top of the playset, preparing to release the Painted Lady butterflies that recently hatched in her classroom.

Her students crowded below her, yelling parting words as the butterflies flew from their net cage: “Be free!” “Go see the world!”

For the past week, Potterf’s students learned about the life cycle of a butterfly, watching first-hand the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly. For the first time in Potterf’s butterfly lessons, students were able to see the butterflies hatch from their chrysalis.

“It’s science but they think it’s magic,” Potterf said.

For the past 10 years – three of them in Westerville — Potterf has introduced her students to a butterfly life cycle unit, where they learn about metamorphosis, read stories about butterflies and get a better understanding of how they should treat things by caring for caterpillars and butterflies. 

She plans to build on the lesson of life cycles by bringing tadpoles to the classroom.