Kids love butterflies, and 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.
Books about Butterflies for Spring
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
There 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 Caterpillar. 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!
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.
The Butterfly House
Another 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.
Waiting on Wings
is another great book for butterfly life cycles. This PRINT AND GO bundle includes materials you can use for mentor text lessons, guided reading to tie into your science unit, or for extension. The set also includes a research project to use in writing. If you’d like to learn more, it’s linked to my TPT store.
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.
Learning activities for Butterflies
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.
Video Resources for butterflies
Magic School Bus-Butterfly and the Bog Beast
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! Butterflies provide great opportunities for PBL, hands-on learning, and loads of reading options.