Family Activities

Butterflies

Monarch Butterfly  Photo by Kenneth Dwain Harrelson
We think butterflies are pretty amazing creatures and fortunately, we live in an area that has a variety of them fluttering around. Each year we add to our knowledge of butterflies in a variety of ways. We may read an article, come across new butterfly books, or a butterfly that we can not identify. Whatever sparks a renewed interest in these brightly colored insects, we often find ourselves asking new questions and finding ways to learn more about them in a hands-on or observational way.
Here are some of the questions we ask, places we go, activities we do and resources we use to add to our knowledge of butterflies.
Research Questions

– How exactly does a caterpillar turn into a butterfly? (sci-biology – etymology)
– How long does it take a caterpillar to become butterfly? (sci – biology –  etymology/math) 
– How long do butterflies live? ( sci – biology – etymology)
– How do butterflies eat? (sci-biology – etymology)
– Why do some butterflies have spots on their wings? (sci-biology – etymology)
– Are butterflies poisonous? (sci-biology – etymology)
– Where can butterflies be found? (sci/geo – mapping)
– Do all butterflies migrate? (sci/geo/math)
– What is the difference between a butterfly and a moth? (sci – biology etymology/math)
– What is the powdery substance on the butterfly’s wings? (sci – biology – etymology)
Activity Suggestions
– Observe butterflies in their natural habitat. (observation/sci/ss/geo)
– Build a butterfly garden. (math/sci – botany/geo/art/PE)
– Look and read through a butterfly guide. (LA/research)
– When we find (not kill) a dead butterfly, we observe it with a magnifying glass or under a microscope. (observation/sci – biology – etymology/ scientific method)
–  We grow our own butterflies to learn more about the stages of life. We only use butterflies that live in our area. (sci – biology – etymology – experiment)
– We study the amazing symmetry of the butterfly. (math)
– We do an experiment to learn how the proboscis works. (sci – biology – etymology – experiment)
– We draw or take pictures of butterflies and add them to our nature journal. (observation/visual art)
– We write about or draw what we see and what kind of day it is. (LA – writing/observation)
– We visit a butterfly garden, butterfly farm, or another place that has butterflies and talk people who know more about butterflies then we do.  (geo/ social studies/social skills/observation skills/communication skills/formulating questions/ listening skills)
Butterfly Information
Butterfly Cabi: The Site is about Butterflies in any Shape, Size, Form or Medium
Butterfly Site: Butterflies by Area: Butterflies can be found everywhere except Antarctica. Find out what butterflies live in your area,  state, or country.
Enchanted Learning: All about Butterflies – Hyper-textbook about butterflies.
The Butterfly Site: Life cycle, activities, houses and farms of the US, extra links a much more.
The Butterfly WebSiteWatch butterfly videos, download clipart, read articles about butterflies and more.
US Forest Service – Butterflies as pollinators.
Wikipedia: Butterfly – Life cycle info, scales, polymorphism, habits, cultural info and more.
Live Monarch Adopt a butterfly, get milkweed seeds and purchase butterflies at any stage!
Learn About Butterflies – LOTS of information about butterflies around the world. Includes: Life cycle, migration, butterfly census, strange but true section, moths, and much, much more. 
Site description: The complete guide to butterflies and moths.

19 Amazing Butterfly Transformations – Click on each picture to see the transformation.

Scholastic: Answers to Kids’ Questions About Butterflies – Questions kids have asked.

Journey North: Monarch Butterflies – How You Can Help – Conservation action.


Bughunter: Collecting & Preserving Butterflies – Information about collecting and preserving dead butterflies.
Lesson Plans and Activities
Backyard Butterflies Lessons: Backyard garden, life cycle, stages
Butterfly WebSiteButterfly Curricula – Activity suggestions include: Birth of a Butterfly, Watercolor Butterfly, How a Caterpillar Becomes a Butterfly, Butterfly Life Cycle, Food to Grow On. 
DLTK: Butterflies – Caterpillar and Butterfly crafts and activities.
Animal Corner: Anatomy Information – Diagram of a butterfly with labeled areas.
Enchanted Learning: Butterflies – Info, activities and crafts
Glorious Butterfly – Butterfly related resources for hands on and classroom learning.

WikiHow to Build a Butterfly House – Instructions for making your own butterfly house out of wood.

Funschooling & Recreational Learning: 10 Creatively Cool Butterfly Activities

Videos


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