Life Cycle of Butterflies
Targeted Grade Level -- 2
Developed by National Science Resource Center
Distributed by Carolina Biological Supply Company

Life Cycle of Butterflies Module Overview

This unit introduces students to the concept of life cycles by inviting them to investigate one organism--the brightly colored 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. They feed the butterfly, identify the parts of its body, and learn how the parts function. In many cases, they watch the butterfly lay eggs. The butterfly ultimately dies, thereby completing students' observations of the life cycle. The children 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 exist within animal life cycles.

Descriptions of the Science and Technology for Children tm (STC) units © 1997 National Academy of Sciences. Reproduced with permission from the National Science Resources Center (NSRC), Washington, DC. For more information about the STC tm program and other NSRC programs and activities visit the NSRC web site. For information on ordering the STC tm curriculum visit the Carolina Biological Supply Company web site.

These module web pages were initially created by Mary McClanahan of Falkville School, Morgan County Schools, and Elaine Sharman of Somerville Road School, Decatur City Schools. Please address comments or questions to

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