Lesson Plan: Science: It's Magic! G 3-4

Written By: Melonie Weidler
Grade Level: Grades 3-4

Time Allotment

3 DAYS (approximately 30-45 minutes each day)


Students will learn about the metamorphosis of the Monarch butterfly. They will learn to identify the four stages of its metamorphosis. They will map the path across the US and into Mexico that the Monarch takes during migration.

Lesson Plan - Science-_Its_Magic!.docx

Subject Matter

Science, Visual arts, Language arts, Social Studies

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to identify the four stages of butterfly metamorphosis. Students will learn about Monarch migration and be able to show on a map the primary paths they travel. Student will create a poster persuading others to preserve and protect the monarch butterfly.

Media Components - Video/Web

  • http://www.goodtricks.net/quicktricks.html (website of magic tricks)
  • http://www.learner.org/jnorth/tm/monarch/jr/LifeCycle2.html (website containing the slideshow of the stages of a butterfly metamorphosis
  • http://www.learner.org/jnorth/tm/monarch/sl/37/A00.html (website containing slideshow of monarch migration)
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqDwvuleRYc (this is a video showing the migration and wintering home of the monarch)
  • http://www.learner.org/jnorth/maps/monarch_spring2013.html (this is a map that shows the migration route of the monarch butterfly)
  • http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/nalargez.htm (this is a map that you can print for your students so that they can draw the migration route of the Monarch butterfly)
  • Materials

  • Electronic equipment– projector, computer
  • Other suppies – white copy paper(enough for each student to have one piece)
  • Crayons
  • Markers
  • Paints
  • Brushes
  • Pencils (students will need to have there own pencil, but the rest can be shared)
  • Copies of the US and Mexico Map (each student needs their own copy)
  • Poster Paper (one for each student)
  • Teacher Preparation

    1. Practice your magic trick
    2. Gather paper supplies and art materials
    3. Run off map and note taking page – enough for each student
    4. Put videos on desktop for easy access

    Introductory Activities

  • 1 dollar bill
  • 2 jumbo paper clips

  • Day 1
    To begin this lesson, I would start by doing a simple magic trick. I selected a simple one on
    http://www.goodtricks.net/quicktricks.html. The trick involves linking two paper clips by using a dollar bill and two jumbo paper clips. This website gives the directions on how to perform the trick, and it also has several others to choose from.

    After the magic trick, I would explain that nature can do magic too There are several animals and insects that can change into other animals or insects by a process called metamorphosis.

    Learning Activities

  • Teacher(computer, projector)
  • Students(pencil
  • Crayons
  • Document Organize Your Thoughts
  • Map of US and Mexico)

  • Day 1
    1. Students will fold a piece of white copy paper into fourths and number the boxes form one to four.
    2. Students will view a slide show of the stages of the butterfly
      (www.learner.org/jnorth/tm/monarch/jr/LifeCycle2.html) and draw and label the four stages of a monarch butterflies life cycle.

  • Teacher (computer, projector)
  • Students (white copy paper, pencils)

  • Day 2
    1. Students will view a slide show of the explaining the migration of a monarch butterfly.
    2. Watch video on the wintering area of the monarch butterfly in Mexico.
      During the video, students will take notes on what they see on a page titled Organize Your Thoughts, found at the end of this lesson.
    3. Have students partner share their Organize Your Thoughts sheets. Discuss as a class after that.
    4. Students will be given a blank map of the United States and Mexico. Using a map of butterfly migration (www.learner.org/jnorth/maps/monarch_spring2013.html), they will color the areas that the monarch butterfly stays during the winter months and draw arrows to represent spring migration. Map can be found at (www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/nalargez.htm)

    Culminating Activity

  • Poster paper
  • Pencils
  • Markers
  • Paint

  • Day 3
    1. Students will create persuasive “Save the butterfly posters” listing ways that everyone can help in preserving the monarch butterfly.
    2. Poster Criteria:
      • Colorful
      • Easy to read
      • Persuasive
      • Ideas are relayed clearly

    Cross-Curricular Activity

    Students could research the area in Mexico where the Monarch butterfly winters.

    Community Connections

    Students could write letters explaining their concerns about declining butterfly populations to the ND representatives and senators, and give some of their suggestions.

    I would also suggest gathering samples of milkweed and bring live caterpillars for the students to see.