For the past two months, students have been involved in studying the life cycles of the monarch butterfly. As part of this study, we have tagged butterflies
for the Kansas University research project, measured and recorded their growth from first stage larvae, sent symbolic butterflies to Mexico as part of the Journey North Program, and talked to Dr. Chip Taylor at Kansas University via IChat. Listed below are poems written by the students after they witnessed a live pupation. To see the live pupation, click here.
(All work is student edited)
Look at Me!
I am a caterpillar,
I am Jay-ing!
Oh no, my head is exploding!
I am shedding my skin.
I am a beautiful green, and no one else is.
My skin is now a shiny, see-through layer, one else is.
So every one... look at me. an elegant, beautiful butterfly...
And no one else is.
But wait? I see so many other butterflies around me.
I guess I wasn't the first one to pupate. ;{
Sad, isn't it? That’s just life for ya. Sometimes you pupate first and sometimes ya don't. It’s a fact of life. Bye!
-Brianna Senft
Mexican Cha-Cha
It begins to jay
Up and Down
Up and Down
Shedding the skin
Up and Down
Up and Down
The antennae move like maracas
All around
All around
The body is hardening
All around
All around
The chrysalis is made
Coming out
Coming out
Now I’m a beautiful butterfly
By Elyssa Anneser

Chrysalis Time
I’m a child longing for someone to play with. Wow!
A caterpillar, he crawls up and down.
He hangs on a leaf and a beautiful thread, but, OH NO is he dead?
He’s turning a beautiful green.
It’s just a chrysalis. He may be the best, but wait!
What’s this, hundreds of chrysalises are hanging! It’s wonderful!
I am a happy child now, and no longer lonely! Bye
By, Nathan

I feel my body explode from my head to my toes
I watch a green shell engulf me
I watch! I wait!
All I want to do is hatch.
Finally, I spread my new wings to fly!
A tingling feeling goes through!
By Dodge Garfield

Once I was watching a caterpillar munching on a leaf.
Then at once it spun a web and
curled into a jay. Next just as suddenly as
before it developed a green case like a
peapod. It was suddenly hardening into a chrysalis.
Wow! Nature at its best!
By Bryce

Monarch life cycle
I am caterpillar.
I am jaying!
Here I go!
Shedding my outer skin!
Making my chrysalis
My skin is my chrysalis.

Shedding some more!
Almost done!
In weeks, I’ll be a butterfly!

Two weeks later.
I’m a butterfly!!
Of I go to Mexico!
-Mckenna Cisler

Garret's Caterpillar
I am a caterpillar
2 weeks since I’ve hatched
I climb up on a branch
I sit I j I sit I j I sit I j
And finally the time I have been waiting for…
Even though it hurts I love it
I split, green comes out of my head, ouch ouch this is fun
And now, just now…
Bye now

Monarch Caterpillar

I am a monarch caterpillar.
Hanging in my j position
Almost ready to pupate
I have no more time to wait.
It’s time for a change.
Next move for me is a green chrysalis!
I’m so happy I could scream!!


Lovely Caterpillar
By Hadley Starer
I am stuffing myself silly,
Preparing for pupation!
Jaying is the next process!
It is coruscating pain
Image sitting there,
Hours, Days,Weeks.
The waiting stops though.
It pays off
I emerge with elegant orange and black wings.
A monarch butterfly
Now I journey south.

I hate pupating
I used to be a caterpillar
A very small caterpillar
But now as you can clearly see
I seem to be PUPATING
I’m wiggling and turning
It seems like I am dancing

I am starting to turn harder
I don’t like it very much
But now that I’m a butterfly
To see the sights that you may not
So let me go free to the see and the world

The unlucky caterpillar
It feels weird watching a caterpillar slip out of its skin.
A hard shed forms on its head.
It’s clear, that this is not his lucky day.
Eventually, his luck changes
He hatches out of his chrysalis
He realizes he now has orange and black wings
A monarch butterfly
How lucky is he?
By Harrison
For now
By Jack Greene
Bob screams. He yells. And with a final shriek, he is engulfed in green.
I am a jaying caterpillar.
My tiny muscles hold my jay…
for now…
I now let my muscles sag and I
shimmy down into a line.
I try to jump up once, twice, thrice
and finally, on my fourth try,
I make it!
I anticipate my change, but some of me wishes
that I never had hatched, that I was a dud
for I feel that pain will flow like an unblockable river
when I change.
I wish I was deceased.
For now.
Now my head explodes.
It feels like I am being thrown headfirst
into a spiraling vortex!
For now.
I am beginning to pupate. I think.
I shed my skin and it falls to the ground, unseen by me.
I finish my pupation.
I am a glistening green, like the grass with the early morning dew.
A jewel in the meadow.

7 days later, Bob hatches, and the inside veins are thick!!

Just a Caterpillar!!!
Alex Meyer

I thought I was only going to be a caterpillar my whole life.
But then I had the urge to hang up side down.
When I did it every thing turned black all over & then it only felt like 4 or 5 seconds. Then I could see again so I tried to walk but I don’t know why but I started to fly & I looked at my sides & I had WINGS YAHOOO!!!