Crossing Borders: Rules That Affect Monarchs
Every classroom and family has its own "rules" that reflect
its needs and values. Each city, province, state, and nation in which
monarchs live also makes its own rules — and these can affect monarchs!
Monarchs have different habitat needs depending on where they are. For
instance, they need lots of milkweed in the breeding grounds, oyamel fir
trees for winter protection, and nectar flowers along the migration route.
Different types of regulations and ways of using land affect monarchs
at different times of the year.
Overview: Students examine
the concept of rules in their lives. They make connections to the complex
issues that surround monarch conservation in countries that have different
needs, values, and laws. (Students who are following the actual monarch
migration will explore the issues in more depth during the winter.)
Laying the Groundwork
with a statement about rules. "In my house we have a rule that
you don't get dessert unless you finish your dinner." Ask a few
volunteers to share examples of rules in their homes.
- Put students
in pairs to make a list of their families' rules (e.g., about TV viewing
or snacks) as well as consequences for breaking them.
- Call the
class together and compile the rules on the chalkboard or chart paper.
List each rule just once and use checkmarks to indicate the frequency
with which it was listed.
- As you
review the list, ask, What general statement could you make about
rules in our classroom's families? What need and/or value does each
rule reflect? Why do you think families have different rules? Would
it be appropriate for you to expect your family's rules to be followed
in a different household?
students to recall stories they've read or travels they've taken. Ask,
Do some rules change when you cross borders? (Examples: speed
limits, languages, driving laws, business hours, school attendance.)
Why do you think people/countries have different rules? Do you think
any rules do or should apply everywhere in the world? Give examples
and explain your thinking.
Monarch Migration Across Borders
you haven't already conducted Lesson
1, do so now or click to enlarge the map (right). Ask, Through
which states, provinces, and countries do the monarchs travel on their
migration? If a monarch flies from Quebec to Mexico, do you think it sees
the borders it crosses? What does it see? (The habitat and resources,
such as nectar flowers, it requires.)
what monarchs need in their habitats — and on their migratory
route — in order to survive. (Consider the need for flowers and
nectar, milkweed, roosting places, clean water, clean air, and safety
from hazards such as traffic, predators, and pesticides.) Make a class
list. Discuss how crossing through neighboring political units (states,
countries, and so on), each with its own laws and land use patterns,
might affect a butterfly's ability to meet its needs.
- Ask, What
kinds of rules, laws, or regulations would you make to help meet the
monarch's migratory needs?
Ask, Do you think that different rules in Canada, the United States,
and Mexico could affect the monarchs? What might account for these differences?
Here are some sample responses you can suggest and discuss:
* Differences in standard of living might affect economic priorities.
(For example, people who are unable to purchase fuel for heating or
cooking may need to cut down trees that monarchs also rely on.)
* Countries might place different values on protecting natural resources.
* Business interests (e.g., pesticide makers) might have a lot political
power in some places.
* Countries differ in their levels of funding for conservation or in
attitudes of law makers.
* People might have different levels of awareness about what monarchs
need for survival; some may not know that the monarch migration is endangered.
What can we do as individuals to be good neighbors for the monarchs
as they pass through our community?