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School District:Lennox
Unit of Study Title:Monarch Butterflies
Grade Level:3-5
Time Frame:14 days
Key Words:butterfly, monarch, chrysalis, life cycle
Unit Designer:Randi Fodness
Unit Designer
Date Added:6/11/2002 2:08:15 PM
Date Last Revised:6/11/2002 2:08:15 PM
Topic Area:Science
Peer Reviewer:Pat Hoffman
Peer Reviewer

Brief Summary of Unit: This Monarch Butterfly unit will show students the life cycle and habitat of the monarch. Students will learn to appreciate nature and the unexplainable phenomenon that occur in nature. Various writing, reading, and hands-on science activities will reinforce the happenings the class will observe…from the egg to the release of the monarch butterfly.

Students will Understand: Understand that story writing is either fiction or nonfiction. Benefits of the writing process and editing are useful in creating an acceptable writing project.

Understand that there are things in nature that humans are unable to recreate. Understand the importance of habitat and paying attention so avoid extinction of certain species.

Understand the life cycle of the monarch, as well as defenses and migration habits.

Link to Standards #1

Students will describe structures and attributes of living things, processes of life, and interaction of living things with each other and the environment.

Indicator:None Listed
Other Content Standards:Science..
Use investigation
Understand that science involves asking and answering questions
Make specific predictions and observations
Concerning a situation or phenomenon
Gather, chart, graph data
Identify basic structure and functions of animals
Explain how behavioral and physical adaptations allow
animals to respond to life needs (shelter, defenses,
Describe similarities and differences of offspring
Language Arts
Read from a variety of fiction and non fiction books
Understand function of organizational features and use them to locate information
Use reference tools to locate material
Write to share information for specific audience
Use vocabulary appropriate for content
Use complete sentences
Use grammar and spelling patterns
Organize and write about information according to topic
Write to explain what is known about selected topic in content area
Maintain a journal
Use of descriptive words
Write creative short stories, descriptive paragraphs or narratives
Use various types of technology for sharing, revising and editing
Edit final copies for capitalization and punctuation

Other Components
Essential Questions to Guide this Unit and Focus Teaching and Learning: How does the monarch’s coloring enable it to survive in nature?

Can you explain what happens inside the chrysalis?

Key Knowledge and Skills Students will Acquire: The students will be able to draw and explain the life cycle of the monarch.
The students will be able to explain camouflage and migration habits of the monarch.
Assessment Plan: Assessments will include: teacher observation, writing projects, journal entries, online quiz, ability to answer questions orally and various hands-on projects.
Learning Activities: Students will journal daily to document changes in the caterpillar, chrysalis, butterfly.
Students will graph to measure how much the caterpillar grows daily.
Students will do an internet search using the key words: butterfly, monarch and migration. They will come up with five facts about these key words and write them
in their journal.
Students will do fiction and non fiction writing concerning the life of the monarch.
Students will write a diamante poem comparing caterpillar and milkweed, or two
other appropriate nouns.
Students will do various art projects recreating the life cycle of the butterfly.
Students will play a camouflage game using m&ms and corn candy.
Students will use bread and colored bread to demonstrate camouflage and will graph their results.
Students will do a symmetry painting of a butterfly.
Notes:This unit is dependent on availability of monarch caterpillars. They are pretty expensive to order. Observations should be made daily, but activities are not necessary daily, since it is a 14 day unit. Students need to be aware that the butterfly will be released as soon as possible after hatching.
Internet Resource Link:

Adapted from the the work of Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins. Understanding by
Design. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Alexandria, VA. 1998.

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