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Butterfly Biosphere: Science, Social Studies or Both?

Thanksgiving Point: Butterfly Biosphere

Kindergarten_Social Studies

Butterfly Biosphere is obviously more of a science field trip than a social studies one. Yet, we can definitely find some Citizenship and Financial Literacy connections here as well. This is not an exhaustive list, but simply a means to support you as you use the Fieldtrip Question Cards. The ultimate goal is to empower you to bond with your children through education. So, consider this a jumping off point and let your heart be your true guide.

As you enter the Butterfly Biosphere you first come to the Discovery Zone where you have hands on activities about butterflies, ants and dung beetles. You will also find question walls, live animals to watch, plastic animals on which to climb and other areas to create. There’s just a lot of great activities.

From there you can choose to go into the Invertebrate Adventures with more activities focused around invertebrates or go into the playground area, Costa Rica Climbers. There is a toddler area along with the bigger kid area with a large slide. The scientific research rooms you have to pass through on your way to the top of the slide contain a wealth of learning opportunities... if you can get your child to stop and play for a little bit on their way to the top of the slide.

At the back of the Discovery Zone is the entrance to the actual biosphere. It is warm in there for the tropical effect, so be ready to de-layer if you go in the winter and bring extra water in the summer because you go from dry hot to humid hot. For me it is a magical experience every time we go. It’s like we are walking into another world.

Citizenship – This venue is a great place to discuss your child's role as a human in regard to animals. You can discuss how to show respect to and gently hold the butterflies. Then you may want to connect that how we treat animals corresponds with our role in the circle of life. A discussion on following the rules in the play area is also helpful in understanding how they effect their surroundings. Being respectful of others on the playground helps everyone have a more enjoyable experience.

Financial Literacy – This is most apparent in Costa Rica Climbers. There are scientific research rooms you pass through on your way to the top of the slide. What jobs do you see in these rooms? What are these special tools and for what are they used? How do scientists make money? Are these science experiments fulfilling a need or a want? What are the scientists' needs and how do they fulfill their needs and wants?

There is so much to love about the Butterfly Biosphere. I’d love to hear how you brought the other two social studies topics, culture and geography, into your visit. Remember this is just jumping off point and not meant to be an all inclusive list. It's simply suggesting a small question here or an observation there. Our kids learn best through play, so let them play. Coming back to the biosphere

again and again, each time with a different focus, will provide opportunities for them to internalize your discussions and you will be well rewarded as you learn and grow together. Remember always to follow your own heart, this is your opportunity to bond with your children through education.

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