Life Cycle of Butterflies

  • The Life Cycle of Butterflies unit introduces students to the concept of life cycles by inviting them to investigate one organism—the painted lady butterfly (Vanessa cardui). During an eight-week period, students observe, record, and describe the metamorphosis from caterpillar to chrysalis and from chrysalis to adult butterfly. In many cases, they watch the butterfly lay eggs. The butterfly ultimately dies a natural death, thereby completing students' observations of the life cycle.

    The students compare the life cycle of the butterfly with that of other organisms, an experience that deepens their understanding of the diversity of life and the patterns that characterize animal life cycles.

Integrating Art into Science Lessons