For their curriculum about monarch butterflies, West Marion students created a migration trail from North Carolina to Mexico showcasing fun facts about each area along the way.

“Students have been observing monarch caterpillars and studying the importance of milkweed since it’s the only plant the caterpillars eat,” said fifth-grade teacher Renata Crawley. “It is a celebration of life.”

The migration runs along the school’s nature trail where students colored butterflies, and watched a first-grade theater play explaining the life cycle of the caterpillar and butterfly.

“I am a butterfly that is me. I live in the sky, don’t you see?” the first-graders said in unison. “But first let me tell you how I change, so you won’t think it’s all that strange.”

Next the butterflies travel to North Carolina where fifth-graders Breanna Wallce, Brooklyn Davis, Camryn Morgan and Gabriel Dillon shared some of N.C.’s best features.

“Did you know that Pepsi and Krispy Kreme doughnuts were invented in North Carolina?” Wallace asked during the presentation.

Then it was on to South Carolina where students Alyssa Holland and Ashton Wilson taught others about their state.

“Did you know the first battle of the Civil War took place at Fort Sumter, South Carolina?” Holland asked. “And, South Carolina is the only state in the United States that grows tea.”

It was just a short trip down to Georgia where butterfly visitors met up with Caleb Mikula and TJ Miller who offered a welcome poster, shared facts about the state and sent us with safe travels on to Alabama.

“Alabama workers built the first rocket to put humans on the moon,” said student Lily Combs.

Through Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas the butterflies traveled until they reached their destination of Mexico.

“English Second Language (ESL) students teach (students) about their heritage and culture when everyone arrives to Mexico. Once students arrive in Mexico, they place their butterfly on a tree and sing songs,” Crawley said.

ESL students Angela Arriola, Abraham Olloqui, Kevin Medina, Ariana Chavez, Patty Magana, Daisy Juarez, Yamilet Otera and Brenda Magana taught students several Spanish words and facts about the Mexican flag.

“Mexico has four time zones. Mexico is the world’s largest producer of sulfur,” said Juarez.

At the end of the migratory journey, students were treated with songs by music teacher Benjamin Moore and parent Teodoro Cruz. The students got to act and sing along to the “Butterfly Song.”

Crawley said they also released three tagged butterflies and will track their flight as part of their project.

To watch a video of The McDowell News journey through the butterfly migration trail at West Marion Elementary, click on this story at

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