December 3, 2011


This week we ran a contest called BUTTERFLY or MOTH? for students in the Niskayuna, NY school district, where I was visiting. We showed two photographs, side by side, and asked you to tell us which was a butterfly and which was a moth…..and give three reasons why. We had 256 students and classes leave comments on the blog with their answers. Wow!

How did we come up with a winner among the many correct answers? The winner was randomly chosen by a true random number generator on the website First we listed all the entries on page after page, in order of when they were received. We had 256 entries, so there were 16 pages of entries with 16 entries on each page. Then we used the random generator, first to pick a page number and then to pick a number on the page. The winning pick was Alexandra L. in Class 4V at Glencliff Elementary School.

Alexandra wrote:

Insect A: moth


1. Moths rest with their wings open.


2. They do not have a club on their antennae.




Insect B. Butterfly


1. They rest with their wings closed.


2. They have a little club on their antennae.


The class pick was a little different. We put each class entry on a small slip of paper, put all of the class entries into a paper bag and then I put my hand into the bag and picked up one of the slips of paper without looking. The winning slip of paper was Mrs. Robitaille’s 2nd grade class in Hillside Elementary School. They wrote:

Insect A is a moth. We know this because the moth’s wings are dull, the moth’s wings fold back, and the antennae are feathery. Insect B is a butterfly. We know this because its wings are folded up, its wings are colorful, and it has a bulb at the top of its antennae.

Congratulations to both winners. You will receive your signed copy of BUTTERFLIES in the mail this week. More than that, congratulations to everyone who entered the contest! All of your entries have been posted as comments on my blog. Look for your name and your entry on my website, Some of you put your comments on stories other than the contest story, so if you don’t see it there, you’ll probably find your comment under another blog story.

Keep in touch by telling me what book of mine you’re reading and what subjects you like the most!

I had so much fun talking to you last week; did you enjoy my speaking? Tell me one thing you remember from what I said!



Posted by: Seymour Simon

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