Day 1

I will ask you what you know about butterflies and read you some information.

I will assign a partner for you to work with. It is important that you work well together and share ideas.  I will give you a little bit of time to explore the website below.  Explore and take some fun notes to discuss with the class. Simply hit the back key to return to the web quest.

Day 2

Today your caterpillar has arrived! 

Record the date in your journal

Now look closely at the caterpillar's food.  Then answer the questions below in your  journal:

How does the food feel?

How does the food smell?

Push the food down to the bottom of your cup.  Now you will get your caterpillar.  

Taking care of your caterpillar:

Do not turn its cup upside down.

Do not drop your caterpillar.

Do not let the caterpillar get too hot or too cold.

Your caterpillar needs food, water, and air.

How does the food look?  Write these observations in your journal.


The food is made from a plant called mallow.  It has green leaves and light purple flowers.  Click on the links to learn more facts about what catepillars eat.  Simply hit the back key to return to the web quest. Make some notes in your journal for discussion.

Day 3:  Learning more about your caterpillar

A caterpillar has many parts.  Each part helps the caterpillar.  The special legs help it move and hold on to leaves.  The special mouth is perfect for eating leaves.  The bristles make it hard for a bird to swallow a caterpillar.  

Draw and label at least 5 parts of a caterpillar in your journal.  Write one sentence about each part.

You will use these Internet sites to see each of the 4 stages of the butterfly life cycle and to learn about the parts of the caterpillar/butterfly.  Simply hit the back key to return back to the web quest.

Days 3-15:  Observation

Take your magnifying glass and watch your caterpillar every day.  Note any changes in your journal.  

When the caterpillar is moving its head from side to side it is spinning silk.  Look for the tiny threads and see how they are crossing each other.


Watch as your caterpillar grows and begins to shed its outer skin.  You can look in the bottom of your cup for tiny black speaks.  That tells you how many times your caterpillar has shed its outer skin and grown.  See a caterpillar shed! Watch the video to gain a better understanding of what is happening to your caterpillar.

Click the link!  Remeber to hit the back key to return.

Day 5

While we wait for the changes to occur you and your partner will create a caterpillar of your own.  

This is an easy way to make caterpillars using egg cartons, crayons or markers, scissors, and pipe cleaners. Googly eyes are a nice touch. Be creative!


  1. Separate 4, 5, or 6 cups from an egg carton.
  2. Using the point of a scissors, an adult should make 2 small holes at one end for the antennae.
  3. Insert pipe cleaners for the antennae.
  4.  Add eyes, a mouth, and decorate

Day 6

We will read the story "The Butterfly Garden" by Margaret Mahy.

Please open the link below and we will take turns reading and discussing the story and butterflies.

The Butterfly Garden.doc

What do butterflies eat?

Butterflies drink the nectar from flowers using their proboscis.  It is a tongue like tube that the butterfly drinks from.  We will place sugar water in our flight cage for your butterfly to drink until we release them.  

You and your partner will use the following links to learn more about what butterflies eat.  Take some notes to discuss these facts with the class.

Approximately Days 12 and up:  

Your caterpillar will begin to climb to the top of the cup and connect to the tissue paper and hang upside down.  It is at this time that it will form the j.  As soon as your caterpillar does this, make sure to note the date in your journal and draw a quick sketch of the changes as you notice them.


Once your caterpillar enters the pupa stage it will hang in its chrysalis.  Now is the time to watch for movement.  If you wait you will see the chrysalis wiggle from time to time.   It is beginning to metamorphose into a butterfly.  


We will move your caterpillar into a butterfly flight cage.  This will make it difficult for you to identify your caterpillar, but it is a safe place for us to watch the rest of the process. 

One Week after the pupa stage:

Watch for color changes in your chrysalis.  As it darkens the butterfly is preparing to exit.  Make sketches in your journal as you notice these changes.  

Your butterfly comes out of the chrysalis:

The red liquid is meconium.  It is a waste product of the metamorphosis.  It is not blood.  The wings of your butterfly may be slightly deformed after emerging.  The wings need time to dry out. Watch these wonderful and amazing transformations through the links below.


We will have our release party a few days after the butterflies have emerged.  Please invite your family to attend.  We will have treats to share and watch our butterflies go off to start the life cycle all over again.

Wear bright colors, maybe your butterfly will think you are a flower and land on you!!


Take out your journal and write four complete sentences about what you have learned about butterflies.