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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

Cover to Butterfly art integration material


Art-Science Integration Lesson for Life Cycle of Butterflies 

Life Cycle Of Butterflies Training


NGSS Crosscutting Concepts in Life Cycle of Butterfly Lessons - This document identifies the connections between Crosscutting Concepts and the Life Cycle of Butterfly Unit lesson activities.

Use This Information to:

Life Cycle of Butterflies Learning Targets 

Butterfly Song

Life Cycle of Butterfly Kit Packing List

Butterflies - My Science Notebook

Spanish translations of module Teacher Guide pages, student notebook and student sheets are available for download, but are password protected.  For access contact Gayle Ames at 509-454-2485.

The Life Cycle of Butterflies - Part 1

The Life Cycle of Butterflies - Part 2 

  • Help students organize their thinking.
  • Create writing or discussion prompts
  • Press students for explanations during activities