Curriculum Connections Page

Blue Morpho Butterfly

Language Arts Connection: This poem makes use of an 'extended metaphor.' The blue morpho butterfly is compared to the moon - but the comparison isn't a one shot deal like metaphors often are; instead the metaphor stretches or 'extends' throughout the poem, acting as a central theme: the butterfly shines through the branches of the trees; it waxes and wanes; sometimes it's bright and easy to see and sometimes it's invisible even though it's still there; and it's rare and blue, like a blue moon.

Group Writing Activity: Have your class choose a rain forest animal. Ask them what they could compare this animal to (besides another animal), then brainstorm (using a bubble chart, if you like) to explore the various ways this animal could be said to resemble the thing they chose to compare it to. Allow imaginative, tangential and humorous ideas as long as students can back up their connections with reasonable explanations. Choose some of the ideas and write a poem extending the metaphor all
the way through. [Examples: jaguar - race car; sloth - shag rug; anteater - vacuum cleaner; leafcutter ant - wheat farmer...]

Science Connection: Another central theme in the poem is the blue morpho's fascinating survival technique known as 'flash and dazzle' (see  the Amazin' Amazon Mystery Animal Answer Page for more information about this). Considering this, the author might also have chosen a comet to compare it to in an extended metaphor, or a splendidly costumed ballet dancer who goes on and off the stage.

What other peculiar survival techniques do rain forest animals employ?

Creative Writing Activity: Have students compare these animals to something else considering their survival strategy. Extend the metaphor and write more poems.



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