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Brookside Garden's Wings of Fancy

The annual Wings of Fancy exhibit allows visitors to explore hundreds of live caterpillars and butterflies up close and personal in an environment rife with opportunities to practice strong communication skills!


EXPLORE: Sequencing
ENRICH: Narrative Abilities

ENGAGE: The ability to put sequential steps in order



  • The Wings of Fancy exhibit has a lot of educational information about caterpillars and butterflies. Explore the exhibits with your child and look for information about the life cycle of the butterfly: egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, butterfly. See if you can find photos or even live examples of each of the stages of the butterfly's metamorphosis. Afterwards, ask your child to retell the steps of the life cycle:

    • Use complete sentences

    • Include all four steps

    • Sequence the steps in order

EXPLORE: Listening for Details
ENRICH: Oral Comprehension of Nonfiction Information

ENGAGE: The ability to recall key details



  • At the exhibit, find the brochure provided entitled "Gardening for Butterflies." The brochure talks about what types of plants butterflies need to thrive. Read the information aloud to your child and talk about the qualities of plants that will attract butterflies to a garden. Afterwards, ask your child to answer the following questions:

    • Why do butterflies need host plants?

    • How do butterflies use nectar plants?

    • How much sunlight do most host and nectar plants need?




EXPLORE: Multisyllabic Words
ENRICH: Phonological Speech Skills

ENGAGE: The ability to produce 3-, 4-, and 5-syllable words



  • Pronunciation of all of the syllables of multisyllabic words is an important key to speaking clearly and being easily understood. You can easily work on this skill with your child at the Wings of Fancy event, with the many butterfly-related words containing 3, 4, and 5 syllables: bu-tter-fly, chry-sa-lis, ca-ter-pill-ar, me-ta-morph-o-sis, etc. As you come across these multisyllabic words, ask your child to do the following tasks:

    • Count the syllables in the word

    • Say the word slowly, clapping his/her hands as he/she says each syllable

    • Use the word in a short sentence, making sure to say all syllables

EXPLORE: Conversational Skills
ENRICH: Social Use of Language

ENGAGE: The ability to maintain a conversation for several turns



  • Encourage your child to be a true Speech Explorer by initiating a conversation with someone at the exhibit - be it a staff member or a fellow visitor - and maintaining the conversation for at least three back-and-forth turns. Before arriving at the exhibit, practice some potential questions and responses with your child that they can use to extend their conversation. Remind him/her to do the following:

    • Initiate the conversation politely (e.g. Hello! What do you think of this butterfly?)

    • Make at least two follow-up comments or ask follow-up questions (e.g. I like that it has spots. Do you know where this butterfly lives?)

    • Politely end the conversation (e.g. Thanks for talking with me! Enjoy the rest of the exhibit.)


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