Eric Carle's beloved children's book "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" has been brought to life at Will Rogers Elementary.

Students in each of the school's preschool classes have watched as caterpillars metamorphosed into butterflies.

"They learn an appreciation for life cycles and nature," said teacher Angie Tree. "Their vocabulary has grown. For example, they can tell you what metamorphosis means."

Fascinated, students watched the caterpillars grow and eat special food.

"They grow fast," Savoy Lemell said. "When they eat, they grow fast and then wrap their selves with silk when they're through. I thought it was awesome."

Students anxiously awaited the butterflies emerging from their chrysalises.

"I was in the home center, but then I run, run, run over here," said Avanna Garner about seeing the new butterflies come out.

Once they are out, butterflies use the pigmentation they need and discharge the rest.

"It was cool when the butterflies changed colors. It dyed my finger," Jaden Todd said.

Some students also would mind becoming a butterfly themselves.

"I wouldn't want to fly and get to go off by yourself," Lemell said.

The butterfly's tongue was a highlight to the children, many of which had not closely examined a butterfly before.

"The tongue rolls out and back in," Isabella Celaya said. "I wish I could touch a butterflies tongue."

The caterpillars were purchased through an Ardmore Enrichment Foundation Grant written by preschool teacher Teresa Milson.

"We will apply again because we want to do it next year. It's been a really good experience for the kids," Milson said.