Tonawanda News — I now know more about the Queen Alexandra’s birdwing butterfly than I would have ever thought possible.
In the Keppeler household, we recently went through that ordeal otherwise know as the kindergarten research project. Sam happily brought home his “endangered animals” topic (the aforementioned insect), we read through the materials we found, fired up our printer and planned out his poster. This was his first foray into such an experience and he was excited to tackle it, contrary to the protests that the words “research project” may draw in future years. (Or not. I always liked them, myself. You can learn so much about the darndest things.)
Did you know the Queen Alexandra’s birdwing butterfly is the biggest butterfly in the world, with up to a footlong wingspan? Or that it lives in a small portion of Papua, New Guinea, but its habitat is in immense danger due to destruction of the rainforests? Or that the first specimens, collected in the first decade of the 1900s, had to be brought down with a small shotgun? Neither did I.
I do now.
I helped with design and facts, but he did the vast majority of the work himself. Four printed or crayon-colored butterflies, a cardstock “vine and flowers” border (laboriously cut out by blunt-edged scissors and attached with a glue-stick) and a number of carefully written sentences later, Sam marched off to school with his posterboard, full of the satisfaction that comes with working hard and fulfilling a task.
And I was proud.
During this time, Jim hovered in the background, watching with great interest. It was pretty obvious he was curious what was keeping so much attention of both mom and brother, and we kept him in the loop as much as possible. He learned about the butterfly, advised us on color choices and even helped place a flower or two in the border. When I snapped a photo of Sam beaming and holding up the finished posterboard, Jim was right there with me, clapping his hands.