Exploring Life Cycles and the Metamorphic Change of Butterflies

Nikki Guevara, Science, Bain Elementary School

Final Unit (PDF)  Implementing Common Core Standards (PDF)


This unit takes a look into the metamorphic change of butterflies. We begin by integrating various forms of literacy while introducing the topic of caterpillars, butterflies and life cycles. The incorporation of fluency exercises to promote literacy and comprehension skills takes place through reader’s theatre scripts and poetry. Students will also take a look into insects. They will learn what characteristics make up insects and that insects go through metamorphosis. Several different graphic organizers will be integrated to help students organize and synthesize information about insects and life cycles. Different types of life cycles will also be taught in order to reach all types of learners. There is an opportunity to bring live specimens into the classroom for observation and more visual learning. As a final activity for learning about butterflies and life cycles, students will have the opportunity to create a butterfly habitat as a way to observe and continue to learn about metamorphosis in an ecological context. A variety of read alouds and writing activities will also be used to improve literacy skills or decoding, fluency, comprehension and writing skills. This unit is a interdisciplinary collection of activities centered about literacy, science, metamorphosis and butterflies. It can easily be adapted to older grades.