The goal of this capstone project is to enhance student learning through an integrated curriculum, focusing on religion, science, language arts, and math. By creating a curriculum to accompany the butterfly garden, the students, Assumption Catholic School first graders, will be encouraged to engage with nature, while associating their Catholic faith with the garden’s living creatures and all of earth’s environment.
A butterfly garden is an environment that attracts butterflies and creates an ecosystem fit for the butterfly to lay eggs, to find nourishment and shelter, and to support pollination. Butterfly gardens are important to schools, societies, and nature as a whole. For school communities, butterfly gardens can teach about flourishing ecosystems and habitats, exposing the valuable lesson of habitat management and environmental support through preservation and protection of the planet. Each student will form a unique bond with the butterfly garden, ideally learning to love and support the garden as well as the butterflies within the garden. For societies, butterfly gardens are important to prioritize sustainability by protecting the earth.
Every action causes a reaction, and stewardship for the garden and the earth will ensure the understanding of how creatures interact with plants to pollinate the environment around humans. Along with the human benefits, butterfly gardens are of paramount importance to butterflies themselves for survival. This perspective, however, may not always be shared by the school itself when there are difficulties the school must initially overcome.
Schools attempting to implement a butterfly garden may face impediments to starting the project due to a lack of resources, a lack of funding, or even a lack of drive to complete the project. If the motivation to support the garden and butterflies is not present, the above-mentioned benefits will not be met. In this case, the butterfly effect will ensue, both figuratively and literally. The butterfly effect is where something that seems small affects something else much larger, which in this case refers to an unsuccessful garden failing, and therefore, causing the butterfly pollinators to fail at their job as well. As God’s creatures, butterflies are as important as human life with their purpose to pollinate and bring beauty and cohesion to all ecosystems. The butterfly’s dedication to hope, diversity, and growth truly create a beauty that should be protected by all, beginning with the education of students in elementary schools.