Metaphorical Mutations

Rochelle Stanley, English, Garinger High School

Final Unit (PDF)  Implementing Common Core Standards (PDF)


Making connections across content areas can be a challenge for high school students, especially for reluctant readers who have limited experience with the world around them. Like the larval forms that exist in nature, high school students are transforming from adolescence into adulthood. In English class, students experience multiple changes that occur within various texts in regard to characters, plot, setting, mindsets, etc. By blending the English and Science content areas, this unit will focus on the concept of metamorphosis, metaphorically and physically. Students will consider the various metamorphosis processes that occur within nature utilizing the school garden and the entities that reside within it; specifically butterflies. Given the diversity that surrounds them, they will analyze and reflect on how nature can emulate the changes that occur within text, their community, and themselves in order to experience and to critically think about connections. Students will observe the metamorphosis of the caterpillar into its butterfly form and consider those implications. The cumulative project will require students to transform unused space on campus in order to create a butterfly reading sanctuary. The sanctuary will use only natural or recycled materials. Any artistic expressions will also use natural materials in order to demonstrate how things, people or ideas have the ability to change, to be used in a different than originally intended.