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The Birth of a Butterfly Lesson Plan

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Lesson Plan #: AELP-ENT0109
Submitted by: Kelly Chaney
Email: kelbel5127@hotmail.com
School/University/Affiliation: University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown Date: February 9, 2000

Grade Level(s): 1, 2


  • Science/Entomology

Duration: two 40-minute periods Description: I will first tell my students that today we are going to learn about the birth of a butterfly. I will also tell them that after we have completed the activities we will be going to the computer lab. At the computer lab I have a butterfly website that we will be playing on. I would recommend that you have an aide to help out with any type of problems the students would have. I am using the computer lab as a form of reward for students. Then I will begin by introducing the book. I will tell the students that the book is about a little girl and her grandfather. The little girl rescues a caterpillar from the mouth of an on-looking blue jay and asks her grandfather to help her care for and raise the caterpillar. Once I have introduced the book I will draw the students’ attention up to the figures on the board. I will tell them that those are the life stages of a butterfly, but they are not in order. I will tell them to use their listening ears during the story to figure out what order the figures should go in and they will need to help me put them in order once we have finished reading the story.

Goals: Students will demonstrate an understanding of insects and science as a whole.

Objectives: Students will be able to construct the life cycle of a butterfly using pasta.


  • Book = Butterfly House by Eve Bunting. Illustrated by Greg Shed.
  • Construction paper (assorted colors)
  • Computer Lab (one computer for each student)
  • Internet address: http://www.mesc.usgs.gov/butterfly/butterfly.html
  • Raw pasta (rice = eggs, mafalda (bite size lasagna) = caterpillar
  • Shells = chrysalis, bow tie (farfalle) = butterfly
  • Leaves (small)
  • Twigs (small)
  • Glue
  • Paint brushes (to spread glue)
  • Cups (to hold glue)
  • Life cycle figures (eggs, caterpillar, chrysalis, and butterfly)


Once I have read the story and the students and I have put the drawings in order, I will then introduce the activity and explain what they need to do.
While showing my example, I will show the students how they will construct their own life cycle of a butterfly. First they will fold the piece of paper into four equal parts. In the upper left corner will be stage one (egg). They will then put stage two (caterpillar) in the upper right corner. The third stage (chrysalis) will go in the lower right corner and finally the fourth stage (butterfly) in the lower left corner. They will then draw arrows showing the progression of the stages.
After I am done explaining the directions I will pass out all the materials and let the students begin the activity.


Once the students have completed the activity and cleaned up, we will recite the following poem. While reading the poem the students can point to the corresponding stage.

I started as a tiny egg
Upon a leaf of green

And now I stay upon the leaf
So I will not be seen

Soon I’ll build a chrysalis
Upon a limb up high

I’ll stay a while and then come out
And be a butterfly


I will look at the each student’s life cycle of a butterfly activity to see if they understand the concept. I will also observe the students when we recite the poem.