Mirabella the Monarch's Magical Migration Make-A-School Project. Pictured here are the student illustrators standing in the shape of a monarch butterfly.
Monarch butterfly garden blacklight art show. Here are the pieces being assembled with the blacklight on.
Getting ready for the monarch butterfly garden black light art show. The student's paper mache sculptures illuminated with the black lights.

Collateral projects for the monarch butterfly book

Classroom activities and upcoming celebration

Monarch butterfly garden blacklight art show. Here are the pieces being assembled with the blacklight off. Not very impressive..
Here is what the pieces for the monarch butterfly garden blacklight art show look like under normal lights. Not very impressive.

Above is a hint of what is coming to the Parker Woods Montessori Science Fair. This fantastic blacklight butterfly garden. An amazing art show by Suzanne Nall and the students. Just one of the great activities going along with our upcoming book: Mirabella the Monarch. Below you can see the before picture of the artwork under fluorescent lights. It doesn’t look very impressive. I can’t wait to see a whole room full of flowers and insects. I think it will look like the movie Pandora.

We have so many collateral activities that it is difficult to list them all. I’m really impressed with how Parker Woods Montessori is bringing the monarch book to life — I mean that literally. I guarantee there will be more monarchs in the world next year because of our work.

Classroom Activities

  • Students started the year learning about the school’s Monarch Way Station.
  • Butterfly release. Early this school year the students have already raised and released their own monarch butterflies.
  • Educational Resources and Monarch How-To’s. As you can see in the call-out, we created a list of activities to support core science topics and allow students to be hands-on in helping the real-world problem of an endangered species. These activities were compiled by PTO parent Nuria Lopez and teachers Suzanne Nall and Judy Ganance.
  • The book itself includes lots of steps to get everyone involved.
    • Introductory Slideshow about Scott’s bicycle trip around the world.
    • Book Subject Voting. (Monarch butterflies won, of course.)
    • Character Naming Contest.
    • Student Illustrations.
    • Online Resources, like How the Book is Made.
    • Class picture. It will be like this picture of students lined up in the shape of a bicycle, but instead in the shape of a butterfly.
    • And, we’ve discussed launching more projects, but me and everyone else is running out of time.
      • Caption contest.
      • Cover coloring contest.
      • Coloring book full of second-place drawings.
  • March Reading Madness Month. We’ve created a reading passport and logbook so that the students can travel around the world with our favorite books.
  • The Glow Show. Pictured above.
  • Butterfly Song. I’m excited to hear the song that the music teacher and students created.
  • Science Saturday. Monarch Butterflies and much more. Everyone welcome. March 11 from 11 am – 2 pm. Scott will be there with his books and updates on the project.
  • Milkweed seed giveaway. And possibly milkweed saplings. (It depends if I can keep my cat out of the seed pots.)
  • PTO co-president and artist, Kate Demske, is arranging a fundraising project called Faces of Parker Woods Montessori Self-Portrait Mural with drawings by kids made into 4×4″ tiles. This isn’t about the book project, but we are planning on adding a few drawings of butterflies and an inspirational quote.
  • Parent volunteer, Allyson Stone-Weil, is helping with Media Promotion and creating a decorative Bookmark.
  • Book celebration slideshow school assembly. A new idea thanks to teacher Mary Beth Schlick. We’re going to display every illustrator’s drawing and they’ll be able to walk across the stage, shake hands with the author and receive their book.
  • Illustrator book signing and bake sale fundraiser. This is the premier event! Get your book signed by all 80 illustrators. Everyone welcome. April 21. 5:00-6:30.
  • And of course, every student gets a free book — Mirabella the Monarch

Whew! I need to get back to work! These blog posts take valuable time away from creating the amazing book.

Photos of my slideshow made the school wall. Scotts slideshow how to bicycle the world
Here I am giving a slideshow about my bicycle ride around the world as an example for young students to make their own dreams. I like to start the show by having kids try to lift my bicycle off the ground.

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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More stories about the making of this book

Finally, the best part of the whole project — the book celebration. We were honored to have hundreds of community members attend and support both the book and the monarch butterfly.
Like many species on our planet, monarch butterflies face many challenges. The population has shrunk dramatically, and their great migration has nearly collapsed more than once. Here is how you can help.
This is another one of my favorite all-time photographs. Unlike the past three photographs where I was standing on the roof of the school, this is photographed using a drone. It took hours of preparation and was called off several times. Read more about how I made this photos.
Footprint in the sand

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