Monarch Lesson Plans
Monarch Joint Venture provides two ready-made power points with accompanying notes to discuss monarch butterflies and ways to protect them. There are elementary and middle school level presentations available here:
The Monarch Mission: Empowering Students to Improve Monarch Habitat was developed to complement the National Wildlife Federation’s Eco-Schools USA and Schoolyard Habitat® programs, and to guide the construction of a school’s monarch recovery garden and monarch observations. Starting with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), the lessons and activities were designed for PK through 12th grade. Also available in Spanish.
Monarch Butterfly Manual was developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Protección de la Fauna Mexicana A.C., and offers activities (for grades Pre-K through 12) that promote conservation of the Monarch Butterfly. Each activity includes an overview, background information, and a sidebar that highlights the skills and concepts students will use, along with the learning objectives they will meet.
World Wide Fund for Nature– provided a toolkit for students to learn how everyday food choices can impact this incredible species, their habitat, and their legendary migration. These resources are geared towards students in grades 3-5.
Missouri Department of Conservation – offers teachers, parents, students, and others its free Discover Nature Schools (DNS) nature-based curriculum for pre-kindergarten through high school online.
Find DNS information and curriculum for pre-kindergarten through high school:
Monarchs in Action – Videos
Amazing Animals: Monarch Butterfly – National Geographic Kids (1:15)
Great footage of entire monarch butterfly life cycle and migration. Includes major facts.
The Mystery of the World’s Greatest Butterfly Migration – PBS (9:12)
This orange-winged wonder migrates up to 4,500 km from all over North America to spend the winter hanging from fir trees in central Mexico’s mountains. How do they do it?
Discovery News – 14 Facts about Monarch Butterflies (2:16)
The 4th grade class from St. Joe Elementary School, Ozark Mountain School District, gives us some fun Monarch butterfly intel!
Missouri Department of Conservation – Find a variety of nature-based video segments
Monarch Mania – More Info!
Explore cool details of the Monarch Butterfly’s amazing anatomy and living life cycle!
Children’s Books about Monarchs
- A Game of Butterflies and Moths. Ruth Wheeler. Naturegraph Pub. Healdsburg CA. 1966.
- A Monarch Butterfly’s Life. John Himmelman. Children’s Press division of Grolier Publishing. New York, NY. 1999.
- Life Cycle of a Monarch Butterfly. Jason Cooper. Rourke Pub. Vero Beach, FL. 2003.
- Live butterfly activity book: activities, suggestions, and resources for teachers, parents, and kids using live painted lady butterflies from insect lore. Robert Drake. Insect Lore. Shafter, CA. 2002.
- Monarch Butterfly (Welcome Books). Edana Eckart. Children’s Press. New York. 2005.
- Monarch Butterflies (Pull Ahead Books). Laura Hamilton Waxman. Lerner Publications. Minneapolis, MN. 2003.
- Monarch Magic: Butterfly Activities and Nature Discoveries. Lynn Rosenblatt. Williamson Pub. Charlotte, VT. 1998.
- Monarch Majesty: A Rhyming Educational Story Coloring Book. Barbara Scherek. Star Arts. 2002.
- Monarchs. Katheryn Lasky, photographs by Christopher G. Knight. A Gulliver Green Book, Harcourt Brace & Company. New York.1993.
- My Monarch Journal. Connie T. Muther. Dawn Pub. Nevada City, CA. 2000.
- The Butterfly Book: A Kid’s Guide to Attracting, Raising and Keeping Butterflies. Don Hamilton. John Muir Publications: Santa Fe, NM. Distributed to the Book trade by Publishers Group West: Emeryville, CA. 1997.
- The Butterfly Boy. Laurence Yep, pictures by Jeanne M. Lee. Straus and Giroux. New York, NY. 1993.
- The Family Butterfly Book: discover the joy of attracting, raising & nurturing butterflies. Rick Mikula. Storey Books. Pownal, VT. 2000.
- The Great Monarch Butterfly Chase. R. W. N. Prior, illustrated by Beth Glick. Bradbury Press, Macmillan Publishing Company. New York, NY. 1993.
- The Life Cycle of a Monarch Butterfly. Julia May. Children’s Press: Chicago. 1973.
Monarch Helpers – Take Action!
Make your own Monarch Habitat!
To help the monarch, you can create your own butterfly habitat at home, at school, or other places in your community. Simply add milkweeds and nectar sources to your garden or start a whole new garden. Every effort helps! Be sure to register your habitat and encourage others to follow in your footsteps!
Be a real butterfly scientist!
Carefully capture and place a tiny tag on monarch butterflies during their fall migration. The Monarch Watch Tagging Program helps us understand the amazing story of the monarch’s epic journey by tagging and recapturing these orange and black beauties.
Raising babies! Monarchs that is.
Set up your own nursery for raising monarch butterflies – from egg, to caterpillar to the chrysalis – you care for your own creature all along the journey. And then the ultimate transformer – you watch your adult monarch emerge and fly into the wild!
DIY Monarch Feeders
For a cool project to encourage and teach the importance of wildlife through butterflies why not create your own butterfly feeder.