Topic Page
Learning about Monarch Butterflies  moving

This is a science page that is designed to teach children about the wonderful world of  butterflies in a fun and entertaining way, with lots of exciting lesson plans, craft ideas and software programs.  On this page students will be able to learn the difference between a moth and a butterfly, discover the lifecycles of butterflies, and create a butterfly optical illusion.

PLO: Student will be able to identify a monarch butterfly, tell and show characteristics of butterfly.


yellow  blue  red
5 Educational Websites
Activity 1
Activity 2
Activity 3
5 software programs


5 Edcuational website to visit about the monarch butterfly.
1.mon Insecta, Inspecta World  This is an interesting website that tells all about the monarch butterfly, from its migration patterns to it's many life cycles.

2.summer Journey North
   Journey North engages students in a global study of wildlife migration and seasonal change.

3. crysalisMonarch Lifecycle  The amazing website tells all about the interesting lifecycle of the monarch butterfly from birth to death.

4. butterHow to tell a male from a female  This website shows illustrations and gives usefull information on how to tell a male and female monarch apart.

5. niseThe Butterfly website  This website has lots of games and other butterfly activities.

Activity 1

Butterfly Optical Illusion

1. Description of Activity:  Create a butterfly artwork that fools the eye.  A monarch butterfly changes several times during its life cycle.  This activity is an optical illusion construction of the two of them.

2. PLO:
Students will be able to tell why the butterfly is symmetrical.

3. Web sites and materials needed:
Now You see it...
Large black construction paper
Colored pencils
Caterpillar pattern
Butterfly pattern

4. Teacher will pass out butterfly and caterpillar worksheet.  Student will color the butterflies. Students will cut through the pattern of the butterfly and arrange the cut strips on the paper.  Next the student will glue the cut strips and glue to the construction paper. Once the strips are glued on the paper the students will fold the paper over the strips.  When they are finished  unfold and see that the butterfly is symmetrical.  I will ask if anyone knows what the word Symmetrical means.  I will explain that it means balanced proportions.  I will ask students what do they notice about the wings on the butterfly that they colored.  I will explain that the wings look alike because they are symmetrical.  Next I will ask why do the students think that the butterflies wings are symmetrical.  Once they answer I will explain that the butterfly has symmetrical wings  which means both sides are exactly equal for camoflauge.

5.  Product:  Students will show their butterfly to the class and tell why their wings are symmetrical and how they will be camoflauged.

Activity 2 
The Monarch Butterfly 

1. The Monarch Butterfly: Students will visit and read The Monarch Butterfly website. Once they have read all the information about the monarch butterfly on the webpage, students will create a butterfly lifecylce mobil.
cater          monarch       egg               larva             

2. PLO: Student will be able to show the cycles of a butterflies life.
          Student will be able to tell about the migration patterns of the monarch
3. Materials
   1. The Monarch Butterfly
   2.  Many colors of construction paper
   3. Crayons, markers
   4. Pencils
   5. Yarn
   6. Scissors
   7. tape
   8. paper plate
   9. Butterfly life cycle mobil website

4. Procedures:  Students will be asked to visit The Monarch Butterfly website and read it thoroughly.  Once they have read the webpage we will have a group discussion about what students read on the webpage.  I will ask the students how many cycles does a butterfly go through during its lifetime (4).  Next I will ask the students to name each life cycle (egg, larvae, pupae, adult).  I will ask which cycle does the butterfly begin in and which cycle does it end in.  Once the students have a thorough understanding of the cycles of the butterfly.  We will discuss the migration patterns of the butterfly.  I will ask why the butterflies migrate.  Next I will ask where the butterflies migrate to according to what was read on the webpage.  I will ask what season the butterflies leave during and what season the butterflies return during.  I will explain to the students that they are going to make a butterfly lifecycle mobil.  Students will draw a spiral on the paper plate and cut along the spiral, next they will decorate the plate with crayons and markers.  On a sheet of green construction paper students will draw a cut out a leaf with tiny circles drawn on it for butterfly eggs. Next students will draw and cut out a caterpillar, and a pupa and decorate both with crayons and markers.  Next students will fold a piece of paper in half and draw butterfly wings, will also decorate and cut out.  Using dark paper they will make a body for the butterfly and attach to the wings. Finally I will s
taple or tape the stages in the butterfly's life cycle to string and then to the paper plate.  Attach another short length of string to the plate; it will be used to hang the mobile up. 

5. Product: Student will show the life cycle of the monarch butterfly on their sheet of construction paper.  Student will tell the migration pattern of the butterfly.


Activity 3
Butterfly or moth?

1. Butterfly or Moth? : Students will visit the webpage entitled Butterfly or moth
       they will read the chart that list the difference between a butterfly and a        moth.  Once students have read the chart on butterflies and moths they will     be given a worksheet of a butterfly and asked to label each of the parts with     the help of the website.
2. PLO: Students will be able to tell the difference between a butterfly and a         moth.
3. Materials 
     1. Butterfly or Moth? website
     2. Butterfly printout
4. Procedures : Students will read the chart on the website entitled Butterfly or      Moth to get a thorough understanding of a butterfly and a moth.  I will ask         students some questions from the chart such as "Which has brighter colors, a     butterfly or a moth?" and "when are moths active?", and "when are butterflies     active?".  Once I feel that students have a good understanding of a butterfly     and  a moth.  I will hand out a worksheet with a butterfly on it and all the         parts with their definitions and have students label all the parts.  Next we will     look at a labeled picture of a moth and discuss the difference.
5. Product: The students will be able to label the parts of their butterfly and see                 a picture of a labeled moth and tell the difference after seeing the                 comparison and reading the chart.

word   Software 1
Title of software program: Microsoft Word 2003
Published by : Microsoft
Microsoft word is a great software program to have in the classroom, it is a  program that allows students early practice with typing and using a computer.
This software program can be used for 4th through 5th grade students to type a short research paper on the monarch butterfly.
Problems:  A problem that may occur with this software is that younger students may take a while to type their paper.  Also the software must be compatiable with your computer.  It is rather expensive also.

micro Software 2 Microsoft Paint
Title of Software program: Microsoft Paint
Published by: Microsoft
Microsoft paint is a great program for children to get practice on the computer and use their imagination.  This program could be used in aiding students to draw and create their own monarch butterfly on the computer.
Problems: The students may be inexperienced with a computer, or with fine motor skills, making it difficult to use the mouse.

tom Software 3 Bugs
Title of software: Science Sidewalk Series Bugs
Published by: Tom Snyder productions
Bugs is a great science software program to include in your classroom.  This particular program gives children a great understanding of insects, including butterflies.  They will learn all about insect behavior and be able to observe insects.  This product could be used in aiding students in finding information about butterflies in general or all bugs.
Problem:  A problem that this program may produce would be actual time for students to be able to use the program.

softwareSoftware 4  Butterflies
Title of Software: National Geographic Nature/Science Series: Butterflies
Published By: Discis Entertainment
Butterflies is a uniwue software program, that helps children learn from pictures and reading.  The reading is made easier by highlighted wording and read alouds.  Also listeners can click for a slower pronunciation of what is being read.  This program would be very benenficial in helping children learn about butterflies, while reading and listening to readers.
Problems: Only works with windows 98 will not work with any newer windows program, therefore to use in the classroom you must have at least one computer with a windows 98 program or older.

animals Software 5 Animals
Title of Program: Introductory Science Elementary Science: Animals
Published by: Zane Publishing
Animals is a prgram designed to help children learn about the kindoms of all animals, from underwater worlds to amphibians and insect groups.  Find out how animals get their food and raise their young.  This program could be very beneficial in helping students find information about butterflies, insects or all sorts of animals.
Problems: Must have windows 386/33.  Could be very broad when trying to find information on a specific animal.


S4L2 Students will identify factors that affect the survival or extinction of organisms such as adaptation, variation of behaviors (hibernation), and external features
(camouflage and protection)


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