10 Plus Ideas for Teaching with a Butterfly Theme

Celebrate spring with a unit on butterflies! This post includes a collection of teaching ideas and resources to make your planning easy.
Many teachers include themes of life cycles, butterflies, ladybugs, and many other plants and insects in their spring teaching. In this post, I'll be sharing a collection of ideas for teaching about butterflies and life cycles. From book recommendations to activities to tech, I hope you'll find a few ideas you can use.

Pinterest Links You'll Love

This Pinterest board has been formed to collect our planning sheets as well as other themed resources. Feel free to follow it or pin to your own collection.        

Book Suggestions


Celebrate spring with a unit on butterflies! This post includes a collection of teaching ideas and resources to make your planning easy. Great planning begins with a great collection of books.
Get ready for Spring with a mini book study on the Very HuThere are so many wonderful books to choose from with this unit. Definitely check out the book titles to the left for great choices. One not included (due to copyright) is The Very Hungry Catepillar. I just love Eric Carle's books, so the top of my list is The Very Hungry Caterpillar. In fact, it was one of the first units I put together for my store, but I have since restructured it to be more of a thematic unit on butterflies. You can take a look at that later in this post if you wish.

The Caterpillar That Ate All Week (Freebie Reader)
As I was looking through materials that were available for butterflies, I did come across this adorable emergent reader that could be used in conjunction with this book as well as this simple graphic organizer that could be used with the book.

Butterfly Life Cycle Observation Booklet
Butterfly House by Eve Bunting Guided Reading UnitAnother favorite of mine is The Butterfly House by Eve Bunting. If you are hatching butterflies, this is a definite must read. It is about a young girl and her grandfather who grow butterflies, and it's so touching. You could use this freebie if you do. My unit is to the left.

Another beautiful book is The Butterfly by Patricia Polacco.  Unfortunately, that is one unit I have not put together.  Even so, she is one of my favorite authors, so if there is a book remotely related by her, you can bet I will talk about it. It is more about World War II and Nazi Germany than butterflies really, but for older readers, it is a great book to share and reflect on.

This last book I used with second grade to help them with life cycle studies. It was perfect for their level and easy to understand. It had wonderful photos and diagrams that explained concepts well.

Fun Activities to Explore


If you're looking for activities to use with the theme, here are a few fun freebies that accompany this week's theme and book options.
Reading Street, I'm a Caterpillar, Centers and Printables  Butterfly Life Cycle Free   Interactive Butterfly Lifecycle Craft and Poem! 
Life Cycle of a Butterfly FREEBIE Emergent Reader & Printables Butterfly Life Cycle Anchor Posters   Spring Fever Butterflies

My Resources

Waiting on Wings is a great book for butterfly studies. This resource includes before, during, after activities as well as a butterfly research project.   This unit includes before, during, after activities for Butterfly House as well as a life cycles lapbook.

Video Resources for Butterflies

Amazing Life Cycle of the Monarch Butterfly


Magic School Bus-Butterfly and the Bog Beast


Celebrate spring with a unit on butterflies! This post includes a collection of teaching ideas and resources to make your planning easy. You'll find book lists, free activities, video links, and more.
I hope these ideas help you in your unit planning. There's nothing better than the excitement of growing and releasing butterflies. How awesome to see life cycles in real life! A butterfly theme provides great opportunities for PBL, hands-on learning, and loads of reading options.

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2 comments

  1. Yowza! Thank you so much for taking the time to share these resources. You are wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Can't wait to try these resources. Many thanks.

    ReplyDelete

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