Lesson Plan: Monarchs and Milkweeds

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A Elementary Lesson:

A two part lesson that was created specifically with summer school or homeschool students in mind.  It is hands on and student driven with a field trip element.  Students use a coloring book to guide them through the life cycle of monarchs and the interactions with milkweeds.  Although this lesson is designed for "elementary" students depending on the age and ability of your students you may need to adjust wording, provide more resources or expand on topics to make it a bit more challenging.

This lesson is part of a larger project happening at the Biodiversity Insitute in which they are seeking to gather more information on Monarchs here in Wyoming through a citizen science initiative.

Essential Question:

What is the uniquie story of Monarchs? What can we learn about Monarchs in Wyoming?


At the end of this lesson students will be able to;

  • understand the life-cycle of the monarchs.
  • identify a milkweed plant and its unique charecterisitcs.

Assessment Opportunities:

At the end of this lesson you will be able to assess students through their complete coloring book, field notes on monarchs and milkweeds and the creation of a butterfly garden.

Performance Expectations: Next Generation Science Standards


Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive.


Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of differnt plants and animals (including humans)and places they live.


Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of the life different habitats.


Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior and reproduction.


Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth's resources and environment.

Wyoming State Standards:

SC4.1.1 Charecterisitics of Organisms

Students describe observable charecterisitcs of living things, including structures that serve specific functions and everday behaviors.


Lesson design: Kim Mapp

Graphic design: Jaci Henion



Lesson Plan


Coloring book


Monarch report from the Xerces Society

Websites to Reference:

Monarch Lab: University of Minnesota

Learn about Monarchs