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Learning With Monarch Butterflies

Life Cycle/Biology
• Life Cycle Stations (Marking Period 1)- Students learn techniques of observation
and inquiry. Students engage in a guided inquiry of the monarch life cycle,
exploring the life cycle and stages in detail.
• MTN film clip (Marking Period 2-4)- Students engage in a guided inquiry of the
monarch life cycle, exploring the life cycle and stages in detail.
• Milkweed basics- Students will identify the milkweed plant and examine its uses
throughout history.
o Milkweed then + now- uses for milkweed by Native Americans and
during WWII
• Milkweed community- Students will become familiar with a typical milkweed
community and its members, illustrating a community graphic after learning “The
Twelve Stalks of Milkweed” song.

• Migration overview- Urguhart discovery- Students will read the story of the
migration discovery by Dr. Fred Urguhart and will write a paragraph supporting
why they think the monarchs migrate to the same specific spot.
• Tagging demonstration and activity- Students will actively tag a monarch
butterfly after viewing a teacher demonstration. (Real monarchs marking period 1,
paper butterflies 2-4).
• Fall migration (Marking periods 1-2)
• Make fall migration map, with highlights along the trail- During the
process of making a map students will orient themselves to the geography
of the monarch butterfly migration. They will construct a map of the
fall/spring migration, noting migration highlights along the route. They
will use their map to measure the distance monarchs travel from
Manalapan to the sanctuaries.
• Using satellite imagery to track migration
• Spring Migration (Marking periods 3-4)
o Make spring migration maps- See above
o Track spring migration using

• Map and list states in Mexico- Students will be able to locate and name the states
in Mexico on a map.
• Arrival in Mexico- Day of the Dead- Students will become familiar with the
Mexican Day of the Dead celebration and will compare and contrast it with our
burial rituals.
• Packing for Michoacan- Students learn about the climate and landforms of the
state of Michoacan, home of the monarch winter colonies, and learn about and
gain insitght into the native culture.
• Legend of the Purhepechua- Students will learn indigenous history of Michoacan
and the conflicts caused by cultural assimiliation by learning and telling an
indigenous legend.
• Using Purhepechua language books- Students will demonstrate understanding of
the Purhepechua language by practicing basic words and phrases. Students will
be able to label a worksheet of basic terms.
• Eyewitness to border wars- Students examine the history of the Mexican-
American border from different points of view. Students construct a newspaper
article in a group, assembling information and taking a position in the border
• Working in Maquiladore- Students will experience some of the difficulties of
working in a sweatshop.
• Cost of our choices- Students will experience first-hand the difficult choices
people make given limited resources and money. They will also learn decisions
have consequences and better understand some of the forces impacting Mexican
immigration into the US.
• The t-shirt- This simulation is an effort to help students make a connection
between American consumer habits and the standard of living in other countries
including Mexico. Students become aware of the number of people involved in
producing a common commodity, how pricing is established, who benefits from
price increases and decreases, who doesn’t, what makes a truly fair market price,
and how our consumer habits affect other people.

• Awesome Aztecs powerpoint- Students will become familiar with the basic history
of the Aztec empire while viewing a powerpoint.
o Daily life
o Beliefs
o Basic history
• Personal Aztec calendar- Students construct their own personal Aztec calendar
aw a way to a greater understanding of this important icon and belief system of
Mesoamerican culture.
• Tenochtitlan
• Teotihuacan
• Aztec Mythology
o Illustrate story
o Gods/goddesses
• What is My Aztec Sign?
• The Sad Night: The Story of an Aztec Victory and a Spanish Loss

Conservation of Monarchs and Culture

• Rethinking Columbus
• Lawns in America/Declining Pollinators
o Design signs, write letters/essays to inform the public
• Brother Eagle, Sister Sky speech

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