Butterfly Ballot Boxes 20161122
Butterfly Ballot Boxes. These were the character creation and character naming contests.

Character Creation Contest

The Make-A-Book Project begins at Parker Woods Montessori

I’m excited to announce that the new book will be about the monarch butterfly, which is truly one of the most amazing animals (insects are animals, too) on the planet. The monarch butterfly migrates from Canada to Mexico. It takes 4 generations to fly there and back. As far as I know, it is the only animal on the planet that takes multiple generations to complete a migration. Imagine that your great-grandchildren finishing what you started. Like many animals these days, the monarch faces many challenges as its breeding grounds and food sources are being destroyed. (Another favorite insect of mine, the honeybee, was recently put on the endangered species list.) So, I hope that when this book is finished the story of the monarch butterfly will be spread far and wide to help preserve this species.

If you were a caterpillar born in Cincinnati, how would you know whether to fly north to Canada or South to Mexico?

As the author-in-residence, I introduced myself to over 500 students by giving a talk about my bicycle trip around the world. I love surprising the kids by riding my bicycle into the school gym. Then we began the Make-A-Book Project with a new Character Creation Contest inspired by Ms Nuria Lopez. This is a new step in how the book is made to help get even more students involved and credited. Now the challenge is to sort through all the ballots and choose the best characters and write them into the new book. Here is an example of one ballot:

Name a creature that a butterfly is likely to encounter:
• A frog (butterfly eater!)

Name an object that a butterfly is likely to encounter:
• A Mexican flower.

Name a creature or object that a butterfly is NOT likely to encounter:
• A bear.

If you were a butterfly, where would you fly?
• All over the world to meet different creatures!

I’d love to use all those ideas, but imagine that I have 500 more just like this! The next step will be to name the characters. And then begin the illustrations, which will be led by the art teacher Ms Suzanne Nall, who has already begun teaching the kids how this is a type of shorthand for storytelling rather than a fine art.

Butterfly garden in late fall
Butterfly garden at Parker Woods Montessori pictured in the late fall. Hopefully, by spring this will be full of milkweed and monarch caterpillars getting ready to begin their journey.
Student filling out her ballot
Young student filling out her ballot for the character creation contest. Photo courtesy of Parker Woods Montessori.
Butterfly book character creation contest
Sorting all the entries for the butterfly book character creation contest at the local café.

More Updates Coming Soon!

Check back to see our progress on the new book. Or, for more updates subscribe to our newsletter so that you don’t miss any news.

Thanks to Parker Woods Montessori, the super-involved and passionate parent-teacher volunteers on the PTO, the Greater Cincinnati Foundation and Happen, Inc for making this book possible.

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