26 September 2006


Or maybe I should say Catersaurs.

This is one of those "best laid plans of mice and men" sorts of stories.

We have a new elementary science kit curriculum this year and I had set aside today's cadre meeting to introduce the butterfly kit. I ordered my caterpillars ahead of time so that we'd have them to look at and talk about today. The little beauties arrived a little less than two weeks ago and proceeded to do what caterpillars do: eat, grow...and pupate.

Pupate?! Crap. I didn't need them in that form, but by Friday of last week, my overachieving beasties were already doing what they weren't scheduled to do until Friday of this week.

I pondered a variety of possibilities for substitutions. Could I find wild caterpillars at this time of year? Might I substitute another non-threatening invertebrate (like pillbugs) for our observations? I finally settled on buying some plastic caterpillars...maybe a little bag of insects from Toys R Us. It's getting on toward Halloween---there ought to be creepy crawlies to buy, right?


I looked three different places and the best I could do was a bag of little dinosaurs. I stood there considering the prospect of replacing caterpillars with dinosaurs like some sort of Sanka experiment gone horribly awry. I decided I might as well go big or go home.

Today, the teachers got their caterpillar cups ready. There was food that they observed...we talked about the exciting arrival of caterpillars...and then I plunked tiny dinosaurs into everyone's cup. Thank goodness people have a sense of humor---and are teachers who understand that not everything always goes as planned.


fillyjonk said...

"like some sort of Sanka experiment gone horribly awry."

oh, how that made me laugh! Thanks for the visual of the tiny toy dinosaurs being plonked into cups.

and I know what you mean. I teach an ecology lab where I've had to substitute dried beans for insects thanks to an early frost one year.

The Science Goddess said...

The life sciences are never dull, are they?

Thank goodness the baking soda, gravel, water, salt, and vinegar behaved today.