Updated: Nov 14, 2020
Ah... the great and beautiful Monarch Migration. From mid-August through October, Monarchs fly to Mexico seeking warmer weather. If you are in the path of their migration (usually along the coast of California), they may greet you and show you their beauty. In Autumn curriculum, you can count wings, legs and antenna, make butterfly art or poetry, or track their migration on a map! Butterfly migration is easily weaved into songs, crafts, and activities; it even touches upon the subjects of math, natural science, art, geography, and history.
Bringing in a butterfly, dead or alive, is a great way to pique children's interest, activate observation skills, and educate them within context through hands-on learning. During this season, there are so many butterflies that you may accidentally step on one, or find them already dead on the ground. If you do wish to catch a live butterfly, please make sure there are holes in the jar, is kept in a cool place, and has food (Milkweed) and water. Only hold it for a short period of time for observation, thank it, let it go, and watch it fly away!
One really neat fact is that Monarchs who start their migration in North America do not actually make it to their destination in Mexico. A butterflies lifespan is only about 2-6 weeks, and it takes about 2 months (5,000 kilometers) to complete the migration. This means that along the way, momma butterflies have babies, and the next generation is the one who completes the migration! Below are some more resources about Monarchs:
Butterfly Leaf Art