Anatomy of a Butterfly

The Abundant Garden: Growing Quality Kids Through Gardening by
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Anatomy of a Butterfly: an activity for children of all ages. According to the North American Butterfly Association, there are approximately 20,000 species of butterflies worldwide, but only 750 of those are typically seen in the U. S. In this activity, children will become acquainted with the intricate design of the butterfly.

  • Supplies:
  • Grab binoculars and go on a field trip to a natural area in search for different varieties of butterflies. To find butterflies or their chrysalises, go on a warm, sunny day and cautiously look on branches, under leaves, and on plants that caterpillars like to eat. Take pictures as able. Butterflies by Susan McKeever, and Butterflies of North America by Jim P. Brock, are great children’s field guides (recommended for children ages 9 and up), that give information about the environments or habitats where you may find specific butterflies.
  • Throughout the week, memorize 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
  • Read one or more of the recommended books:
  • Look at pictures of varying butterflies (either using a book such as Butterflies Up Close by Greg Pyers, or on Google). Talk about the fun God must have had in creating and designing each distinctive color and pattern.
  • Choose a butterfly to study more in-depth, then draw and label each part.
  • Using the book Nature Anatomy by Julia Rothman (p. 71), have them write about the function or role of each part of the butterfly identified. Record a younger child’s explanations/dictations as needed.
  • Label the page with the common and scientific name of the butterfly.
  • If you have taken pictures, place these pictures on the journal page and write memories made and lessons learned while watching the butterflies.
  • For an older child:  Read Life Cycle of a Monarch Butterfly by Jason Cooper – recommended for children ages 7 and up. (R)
  • Have your child draw the life cycle of a butterfly. Discuss the miracle of metamorphosis.
  • Feel free to add poems, memories, or quotes about butterflies to the journal page.
  • Place the page(s) in a protector when finished and include it in the garden notebook/journal.
  • Take pictures and tag #theabundantgarden on Instagram to share your fun and for an opportunity to be featured @theabundantgarden.