Each fall, one of our local State Parks becomes home to almost 100,000 migrating Monarch butterflies. The Monarchs gather in a eucalyptus grove that provides shelter from wind and harsh weather, while they wait for spring to arrive.
On chilly days, the Monarchs cluster together in the trees for warmth. But on warm days, they flutter about like colorful confetti in the sky. School groups throughout our community flock to the park so students can witness this spectacular display first hand.
You can see the stages of egg, caterpillar, and chrysalis in and around the milkweed demonstration garden nearby. The females lay their eggs on milkweed leaves because that’s the only thing a monarch caterpillar will eat. (And I thought my kids were picky eaters!)
To observe the Monarch’s complete metamorphosis would take 30 days, or if you only have 3 minutes, you could just watch this time-lapse video:
After seeing these amazing Monarchs, students in Kindergarten and up are inspired to create their own Monarch butterfly using oil pastels. Working on black paper will really make the colors POP!
This lesson from the Teach Kids Art archives was a home run every time I did it. So when I discovered the page was no longer loading properly, I had to repost it!
Just follow the steps below to make your own magnificent monarch!
We used 12×18 black construction paper, which I pre-folded in half to give students a guideline for drawing the body. Start by sketching a basic butterfly shape using the pink eraser on the end of your pencil, that way you can easily wipe away any lines you want to change….
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