‘I believe I can fly’

Published 7:12 pm Saturday, September 26, 2015

Second grade teacher Sarah Wood and her student, Wyatt Parker, pause during their butterfly making project on Thursday afternoon.

Second grade teacher Sarah Wood and her student, Wyatt Parker, pause during their butterfly making project on Thursday afternoon.

Excitement and fun filled the air as students of Sarah Wood’s second grade classroom cut out paper butterflies Friday afternoon at Hillpoint Elementary School.

“I think they had fun with it,” said Wood, who had told her students to color their butterflies in ways that would represent themselves.

“I made the itty-bitty wings so it could fly,” one student said. He then held up his butterfly to show that he had folded over a tiny part of the cut-out wings in an effort to help the paper butterfly get airborne.

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Ki’nya Turner colored her butterfly purple, black and blue. Yellow and brown were Valarie Salgado’s colors of choice. Another student said he had colored his butterfly to look like the American flag.

Blaze Guibas said the project had him thinking of the R. Kelly song “I Believe I Can Fly,” which was part of the soundtrack for the film “Space Jam” and was became a hit more than a decade before young Blaze was born.

“It’s just a magical thing to watch a child learn,” Wood said. She loves spending her day with children and watching them learn and grow. She has been teaching at Hillpoint since the school opened in 2008, and she also taught at Elephant’s Fork Elementary for two years.



Wood got the idea for the project from a company called Journey North. She brought it to her second-grade colleagues and got them involved. The entire second-grade class at Hillpoint then worked to plan the activity for students, she said.

The project is intended to help students understand the science behind the migration patterns of monarch butterflies, which travel to Mexico during the cooler months.

The assignment was meant to go along with their science class.

“We study various adaptations,” Wood said. Some of those adaptations include migration, hibernation and dormancy. Butterfly migration is not the current learning topic, but they needed a head start on the project because of the timeline of the activity, she said.

Once the students have finished their individual butterflies, along with a class letter and class butterfly, all of the materials will be sent to Journey North, which will then mail them to a school in Mexico where the students will take pictures with the butterflies, show on a map where they are located and send a follow up letter, Wood said.

As the students await the return of their butterflies, they are learning about magnets in their science class. They are also studying citizenship, government and diversity in social studies, adding and subtracting in math and fictional stories in English, Wood said.

Later on in the school year, they will hold a China Day, an Egypt Day and an Economics Day.