Grade 2 students love learning about bugs, but judging from their enthusiastic field trip reviews, they love applying and sharing that knowledge even more.
The three grade 2 classes took a field trip to Prairie Park Nature Center and Pendleton Bio-Villa on Thursday, September 28. They’ve been learning about insects, life cycles and Monarch metamorphosis this month.
The field study allowed students to assume the role of real-life entomologist. They tagged Monarchs so scientists can track their seasonal migration. Paiton Hughley said it was one of her favorite Barstow field trips.
“We got to learn about butterflies and see them and put stickers on them and now they’ll fly to Mexico,” she said. Dressed as a butterfly for the annual grade 2 bug parade that followed the field trip, Paiton proudly pointed out her wings and added, “This my proboscis”—a red straw meant to look like the tubular tongue that butterflies use to drink nectar.
Lower School Director Todd Nelson says the Bio-Villa experience is not just an opportunity to apply science curriculum beyond classroom walls, it’s also a foray into service learning.
“Tagging Monarchs is a service that’s being provided after students have taken time to learn about the life cycle of a butterfly,” Nelson said. “They actually help scientists track migration patterns and changes and contribute to their research,” Nelson said.
“Researchers will actually put the information collected from our butterfly tags into a database,” teacher Mallory Plunghken said. It’s a lasting part of learning that makes the students proud. They’re also proud of the knowledge they gained throughout the unit.
“It was a perfect day and our second graders were excited to show their knowledge to the entomologists they met,” teacher Ashley Haase said.

The Barstow School

11511 State Line Road • Kansas City, MO 64114
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