University of Minnesota


In the 4th edition of our Monarchs and More Curriculum guide, we've added more on doing inquiry in your classroom, and more lessons on engaging students in a variety of outdoor activities. There are separate guides for Grades K-2, Grades 3-6, and Middle School. Each include age-specific lessons divided into 6 sections on butterfly life cycles, butterfly systematics, ecology, conservation, conducting experiments, and monarch migration. Each Guide includes extensive background information, with sections on monarch biology, practical tips for rearing and observing insects, and conducting inquiry-based lessons in the classroom. Lessons include both teacher and student pages. There is an appendix with an extensive bibliography, and black-line drawings that can be copied for student handouts or overhead transparencies. K-2 Guide: 233 pages; 3-6 Guide: 342 pages; Middle School Guide: 315 pages.

The lessons in the Schoolyard Ecology Explorations curriculum guide are science inquiry-based and designed to increase the student’s connection to nature through observation and experimentation. Many of the lessons can be implemented on any school grounds, including urban schoolyards where access to nature may be limited. Furthermore, many lessons can be adapted to suit grades K-12 because of their experimental nature. The guide is divided into six sections: Experiments in the Schoolyard, Recording Natural Cycles, Observing Organisms, Investigating Ecology, Discovering Biodiversity, and Seeking Sustainability. Each lesson includes key concepts, an objective, and background information; 239 pages with teacher and student handouts.

Below are downloadable curriculum lessons from our Monarchs and More curriculum guide. We're working to update and make more lessons available online, but this is a work in progress. Keep checking back to see if new lessons have been added. In the meantime, you can purchase a hard copy of our entire Monarchs and More (K-2, 3-6, or Middle School) or Schoolyard Ecology Explorations curriculums at the Monarch Store

Biodiversity and Systematics


Monarch Life Cycle


  • Spring migration map (pdf)
  • Fall migration map (pdf)
  • Tying a pupa and measuring wing length (pdf)
  • Common milkweed with blossoms (pdf)
  • Butterfly scales (pdf)
  • SEM photos: butterfly head with ommatidia, and tip of antenna (pdf)
  • Male monarch (pdf)
  • Female monarch (pdf)
  • Adult emerging and nectaring (pdf)
  • Female and male pupae, front view (pdf)
  • Prepual larva, hanging in the “J” (pdf)
  • Five instars, magnified 4X (pdf)
  • Newly-hatched larva eating eggshell (pdf)
  • SEM photo of monarch egg (pdf)
  • Caterpillar anatomy and 4th instar larva (pdf)
  • Caterpillar head anatomy and SEM photo of caterpillar head (pdf)

Driven to Discover Citizen Science Curricula

  • Monarch Facilitator’s Guide (pdf)
  • Monarch Student Handbook (pdf)
  • Bird Facilitator’s Guide (pdf)
  • Bird Student Handbook (pdf)
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