Investigating Butterflies

Pollination ecoSTEM Kit Materials Used: Butterfly Rearing Kit, Monarch Health Project & Milkweed Seeds

ENGAGE - Students Observe This Phenomenon

GATHER

GATHER Energy Investigations

REASON

REASON Butterflies

EXPLORE a Kit-Supported Learning Experience

Students will observe the metamorphosis of a monarch caterpillar to a butterfly. The Kit contains a butterfly rearing habitat and a voucher for live Painted Lady caterpillars. Students can observe, draw and journal about these butterflies in real time. Students can research threats to monarch butterflies including habitat loss, parasites, and pesticides. The best way to raise monarchs is to grow milkweed!

EVALUATE

Students should be able to identify at least one reason why monarch butterflies are declining in numbers (habitat loss, pesticides, parasites, etc). Also, they should be able to name at least one strategy for helping monarchs (planting milkweed for caterpillars, planting nectar plants for adults, avoiding use of pesticides, sending abdomen specimens to UGA for analysis (Monarch Health Project).

ELABORATE

Monarch caterpillars eat only milkweed. The Kit contains both a class packet of milkweed seeds for a school garden and individual packets of seeds for students to plant at home, creating a Monarch Corridor.

EXTEND

Students can participate in the Monarch Health citizen science project by applying a piece of tape to a butterfly’s abdomen and removing parasites for lab analysis. Students can participate in a Symbolic Migration of Monarchs to Mexico.

COMMUNICATE

Revised EXPLANATION

After making sense of a core idea by engaging in science or engineering practices through the lens of crosscutting concepts, students revise their original explanations of a phenomenon.

EMPOWERMENT

Students will create a Monarch Waystation to help this pollinator species survive, using the Pollinator Garden Planting Guide.