Dozens of brilliantly colored butterflies grace the pages of Butterflies of Alabama: Glimpses Into Their Lives.
But it’s much more than a picture book.
Authors Paulette Haywood Ogard and Sara Bright diligently recorded by word and photograph the 84 known species of butterflies found in Alabama. They show their variety of habitats, even rear them themselves, and photograph their remarkable life cycle state: egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa (chrysalis or “cocoon”), and adult.
Bright spoke at the Garden Club of Alabama’s “Butterflies of Alabama Event” at Aldridge Gardens in Hoover recently. It was there that Rose Garden Club members Nell Gibbs, Andrea Choron, and Sue Tidwell learned that the authors have prepared a teacher’s guide for the book, and were seeking funds to place the book and its guide in every elementary school in the state. Rather than donate to the fund, they decided to purchase the book and guide and donate them directly to Oneonta Elementary School’s library.
The teacher’s guide is closely correlated with National Science Education Standards and Alabama Course of Study: Science (Life Science, Kindergarten-4th Grade). Students will learn that butterflies are insects. Their bodies are divided into three main sections: head, thorax, and abdomen. The antennae are used to detect scents and chemicals. Butterflies can see in front of, behind, above, and below themselves at the same time! The butterfly thorax includes six legs and four wings covered in scales.
Hands-on activities may include looking at a dead butterfly through a microscope, making a sock puppet caterpillar with eyespots, and growing a butterfly host plant. They may even have a small outdoor butterfly habitat.
Rose Garden Club is proud that Oneonta Elementary School is one of the first in the state to be able to utilize this information.