Science lesson takes flight at Wysong Elementary

The 116 first-graders at Wysong Elementary School have been learning about life cycles as part of the Lincoln Public Schools science curriculum. A month ago, they welcomed caterpillars into their classrooms. This week, those students waved goodbye to butterflies as they fluttered away from the school, located in south Lincoln near 56th Street and Pine Lake Road.

During the weeks in between, students saw up close how caterpillars lived within a chrysalis for about ten days, then emerged as painted lady butterflies. They learned how this life cycle is different and similar to other animals, such as frogs and bats.

“They love it - it’s great,” said Joe Vrbicky, one of Wysong’s five first-grade teachers. “They really take a bigger interest when it’s more hands-on learning like this.”

The life cycles unit in first grade is in its second year, after the Nebraska Department of Education adopted the Nebraska College and Career Ready Science Standards in 2017. As part of this, students read texts and use various media to determine patterns in behavior of parents and offspring, and how that behavior helps offspring survive. They also make observations to construct an evidence-based account that young plants and animals are like - but not exactly like - their parents.

Published: April 24, 2019, Updated: April 25, 2019

"They love it - it’s great. They really take a bigger interest when it’s more hands-on learning like this."

Joe Vrbicky, first-grade teacher at Wysong Elementary