Cultivating the Next Generation of Monarch Ambassadors

September 20, 2021 by Team Journey North

The Symbolic Migration project builds bridges of understanding among participants in Mexico, the United States, and Canada. You will not want to miss your opportunity to join. Register by October 8, 2021.

Photo by: Estela Romero

Creating Connections

Symbolic Migration is a project-based educational approach that engages students in a collaborative real-world issue. By participating, students engage in discussions of conservation and protection of monarchs within local habitats and across international boundaries. And learning extends beyond biology. Students explore themes through art, language, social studies, and mathematics. How do we know? We have collected a few testimonials from teachers across Canada, the U.S., and Mexico that highlight the power of this project-based learning experience. 

The Symbolic Monarch Migration activities helped my students learn concepts in mathematics, social studies, science and Spanish. We are a northern country so the students were very interested in the Monarch’s migration south. The butterflies that students made were an excellent learning experience.

~Debbie Miket in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

 ”As a Spanish teacher, one of my main goals is to help to expand my students’ worldview. The Symbolic Migration creates an incredible connection between my students, other students across the United States, and students at the butterfly sanctuaries in Mexico. It blows my students’ minds as we examine just how far our symbolic butterflies have traveled. They love seeing the students in Mexico receiving our butterflies as a symbol of friendship and connection.

~Barb Danver, Indian Hills School District, Cincinnati, OH

The Symbolic Migration program was a useful resource with my 7th grade Life Science classroom. It was a good model of the migration cycle that we studied in class. How exciting and relevant it was to send the individual paper monarchs and a class ambassador butterfly to Mexico at the same time that the real monarchs were on their way!“                        

~Sharon McCullough, Morgan County, GA

Our entire school enjoyed the Symbolic Migration! We made it a part of Project Based Learning, pulling together Art, Music, Spanish, Science, Math, Language Arts and Social Studies to make a very magical Hispanic Heritage Night happening in our school. This night took place on November 2nd right at the time of Day Of The Dead! We celebrated our Hispanic families and our monarchs arriving in Mexico!

~Karen Spence, Morgan County, GA

And from the students perspective…

Estela Romero, Symbolic Migration Environmental Educator with Monarchs Across Georgia and Journey North, describes the excitement of students in Mexico when they receive paper decorated monarchs from the U.S. and Canada. 

 “Look from how far my Symbolic Monarch came from.” ~student

 ”My friends in the U.S. designed this Symbolic Monarch especially for me.” ~student

 “Oh, mine shows the different important images of what they live and they have got there, like sports, nature, gardens, cultural places, symbols, photos of their school.” ~student

“Wow, my [Ambassador butterfly] bears tokens from both Mexican culture as well as Canadian and North American cultures, because we three countries  share this great natural wonder with Monarchs and, at the same time, we have the great responsibility for the conservation of its habitat. No borders whatsoever.” ~student

A Lasting Impact

Participation in the Symbolic Migration can create lasting impacts. Here is a quote from a mother who participated in the Symbolic Migration program when she was a student. She is now raising her children to be the next generation of monarch stewards.   

“While we were at school, the arrival of our Ambassador butterflies and the information on nature made us change our view of our natural surroundings. Our view to nature changed forever; we want our children to know about monarchs as close as possible to the reality we have out here. Our whole life depends on nature, and that is something former generations simply took for granted. We and our children [now] live these consequences.” ~former student

Read more of Estela Romero’s blog posting here.

Register Today

Register today and help form youth-to-youth connections that will have a lasting impactThe cost to participate is a $15 Passenger Ticket per classroom. This $15 fee will cover printing and shipping costs for the Classroom Ambassador Monarchs, and most importantly, conservation education for students in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The deadline to purchase your Passenger Ticket and to submit your Classroom Ambassador Monarch and life-sized butterflies is October 8, 2021. 

See the Symbolic Migration Leader Packet for complete details.