Brief Description of the Site:
Besides being exquisitely beautiful, butterflies (especially the Monarch variety) present a wealth of teaching opportunities, as this site sponsored by the University of Kansas shows. The home page offers a wealth of clickable links to content-rich segments to develop curriculum units around these fascinating creatures. There is even a segment explaining how to create a class project to grow the flowers that attract most butterflies and another on how to grow milkweed, the plant that provides sustenance for the Monarch. Don't miss the multimedia gallery featuring photographs and drawings of Monarchs and other insects.
How to use the site:
Start with "In the Classroom" and its four segments "Challenges to Students," "Research Projects," "Curriculum Guides," and "Vocabulary." Or start with some of the full-color butterfly photos to grab your students' attention. Another possibility is to start with the "Conservation" segment and get your students interested in the story of the incredible annual migration of these creatures. Teachers of other subjects besides biology/botany can make use of the site: language arts teachers can have students write 1st person butterfly stories or reports on environmental threats and art teachers can have students create butterfly drawings, butterfly cut-outs, etc.