Monarchs {InstaScience}

Every year around this time we head outdoors for a special treat - the monarch butterfly! Click on over to learn about the king of butterflies!

Listen to the InstaScience nature study:

Every year around this time we head outdoors for a special treat – the monarch butterfly! I love butterflies, but the monarch is among my absolute favorites.

This orange and black beauty is known as the “King of Butterflies.” Monarchs go through the same four stages in their life cycle as other butterflies, meaning that they begin as eggs, hatch as a larva (a.k.a. caterpillar), grow and develop into a pupa, and emerge as butterflies.

What makes these insects unique is that every year the fourth generation of adult butterflies do not die after several weeks. Instead, they migrate in fall to California and Mexico where they hibernate until spring. Then, the return home to begin the cycle again the following year!

Fun FactNew research has just discovered that superior wing structure is the reason that females typically outperform males on the annual migration flight.

Questions to ask your students

  1. What is one thing you learned about monarchs?
  2. What are the four stages of a butterfly’s life cycle?
  3. What is unique to the life cycle of the monarch butterfly?

Related Science Activities

Keep the monarch-learning going with these activities!

  • Nature Journal Sheet – Have your students make a journal sheet for nuts. You can use this free InstaScience Nature Journal Printable or create your own!
  • Butterfly Symmetry – This activity from Buggy and Buddy is a wonderful STEAM activity you can do as you learn about monarchs.
  • Grow your own Butterfly – Watch the metamorphosis of a butterfly right in your own home! Although, I will say if you live in a colder climate, wait to do this project until the warmer months.
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar – What would a butterfly post be without a recommendation to read this fabulous book by Eric Carle?

InstaScience Research Sources

Learn more about nuts in the following articles that we used in our research.