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Our “Metamorphosis” Framework

The Metamorphosis Framework graphics (2)

Stage 1



  • Story or primary text
  • Big (Main) Idea and Enduring Understandings for the unit

Nestled in an opaque egg and barely noticeable, a creature stirs. Its monarch mother placed the egg in the safe palm of a milkweed leaf, knowing her offspring’s taste and needs. In a short time, the egg’s walls give way for a tiny caterpillar to crawl out. Almost instantly it starts to eat! First it eats the eggshell itself, and then the leaves surrounding it.

Stage 2



  • Story or primary text
  • Big Idea and Enduring Understandings for the unit

The caterpillar, ravenous for nutrients, does virtually nothing but eat and grow. Its once tiny body has multiplied several times over into a robust caterpillar, stretching and molting layers of skin, until it’s dressed in a bright yellow coat interspersed with black stripes. When it can’t possibly grow another inch, the caterpillar knows it’s time for a different kind of change. In search of a new identity, it begins to spin a cloak of silk around itself.

Stage 3

  • Activities coordinated with each Enduring Understanding
  • Discussion & reflection prompts

The chrysalis cocoon envelopes the caterpillar, and a hidden transformation begins. The caterpillar breaks down and rebuilds, taking the components of itself and reconfiguring them into a new form. Over time the cocoon begins to change color, vibrating with the promise of an impending miracle. Finally, the layered cavern gives way and from its translucent folds emerges a set of wings still wet and heavy.

Stage 4

  • Real-life stories for inspiration
  • To-do list for habit formation
  • Scenarios & plays for problem-solving

The fledgling butterfly begins to try out its newfound form, slowly expanding, stretching and testing out its wings. A few tentative flutters give way to short flights, as the butterfly skittles from plant to plant, filling up with sweet nectar. 

Stage 5

  • Guest speaker
  • Field trip activities
  • Culminating project

The wings strengthen and now the butterfly soars, dips, and dives sailing through the sky. It sets course on the same path as its ancestors, migrating thousands of miles to complete its life journey and ultimate calling.

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