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Photo by Raymond Eichelberger via Unsplash

Database Provider


K, 1st, 2nd




80 minutes

Regional Focus



Google Docs, Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

What Makes a Monarch Habitat?

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
Apr 24, 2024
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In this lesson, students learn how climate change affects the habitat of monarch butterflies.

Step 1 - Inquire: Students view and discuss artwork that depicts habitats.

Step 2 - Investigate: Students learn about the elements of a habitat and how climate change affects the monarch butterfly’s habitat.

Step 3 - Inspire: Students create artwork to raise awareness of the plight of the monarch butterfly.
Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips


  • This lesson features visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile learning modalities to support a wide variety of young learners.

  • This lesson supports the understanding that all humans can make a difference.

  • Students will develop a strong connection to self and others as they explore the plight of the monarch butterfly through art.

  • Students will have an opportunity to share what they learned with the school community via their artwork.

  • This lesson supports vocabulary development.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teachers will need to gather art materials before the lesson. Suggested art materials include pencils, crayons, colored pencils, watercolor paints, and drawing paper.

  • Obtain a copy of the book, Butterflies Belong Here by Deborah Hopkinson before teaching the lesson. Pre-read the text and choose the sections of the nonfiction pages that fit your students' needs. Alternatively, use another text about the relationship between monarchs and milkweed and the problems facing both species.

  • Before teaching this lesson, the teacher may want to review the article Migratory Monarch Butterfly Now Endangered.


  • Students can share their feelings with the class, small groups, or partners after viewing Jill Pelto's artwork.

  • Students can work in pairs or teams to complete the art activity.

  • To extend student learning, create a Monarch Waystation, like the class in the book did, or go on a nature walk and look for milkweed, monarchs, and other butterflies.

Scientist Notes

In this lesson, students create artwork on the impact of climate change on monarch butterflies and their habitats. The activity will deepen their knowledge of ways to communicate climate change impacts on biodiversity using art. All materials have been thoroughly reviewed and this lesson has passed our science credibility process.


This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

Supporting Standards

  • Visual & Performing Arts
    • Visual Arts: Standard 2 - Organizing and developing ideas.
      • 1.5.2.Cr2c: Create art that represents natural and constructed environments. Identify and classify uses of everyday objects through drawings, diagrams, sculptures or other visual means including repurposing objects to make something new.
    • Visual Arts: Standard 8 - Interpreting intent and meaning.
      • 1.5.2.Re8a: Categorize and describe works of art, by identifying subject matter, details, mood, and formal characteristics.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • K-ESS3-3. Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of climate change and humans on the land, water, air, and/or other living things in the local environment.

Note On Standards:

This lesson is aligned to SubjectToClimate standards. Review the aligned standards directly in the lesson plan document and teacher slideshow.

Discover more on SubjectToClimate.
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