When Connie Muther was eight years old, an older friend put a Monarch caterpillar in her hand, and began telling her about the miracle of metamorphosis that she was about to witness. Ever since, Connie has been raising Monarchs. As a teacher, she squeezed them into the curriculum no matter what the grade level (K through 7). Even as an educational coordinator and international educational consultant, she still raises them, and shares her excitement with others.
When she discovered that her friend, Anita Bibeau, grew milkweed in her garden in order to photograph Monarchs, the idea for My Monarch Journal was hatched. With 130 stunning close-up photographs, My Monarch Journal is a hands-on journal for students. It is especially good for children who are raising a Monarch of their own, but is effective even if they are only following the growth of Monty, the caterpillar photographed in the book.
“We wanted pictures with few words so that readers, and non-readers, and those with or without Monarchs, could experience being a scientist – observing, hypothesizing, comparing, contrasting, critically analyzing – all at their own level, with their own vocabulary,” Muther said.
“We wanted adults to have the information they needed to feel comfortable working with children – and be able to choose how much to share. We wanted every child, no matter the age, to create a product that was guaranteed to be successful.” A Monarch’s metamorphosis is so stunning and so fast that children naturally have all kinds of questions –
By this time the student has given a name to the Monarch, and a relationship has formed. Releasing these marvelous beings to fly and migrate is an important maturing experience.
THe Journal assists this process by showing close-up pictures, directing questions, and encouraging creative thought. The Journal is available as a parent/teacher version – which includes the entirety of the student edition as well – has easy-to-find answers that correspond to each photograph and question in the student edition.
My Monarch Journal is designed to provide an intimate nature experience that fosters respect for all life and appreciation for the awesome beauty of every living thing.