Monarch Butterfly for Kids


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Monarch Butterfly

Description: The beautiful Monarch butterfly is perhaps the most recognizable and storied of all butterfly species. With its familiar black and orange patterned wings, the Monarch Butterfly is virtually unmistakable. Males and females are similar, but females have darker wing veins and males have a spot under each hindwing where pheromones are released. The average Monarch has a wingspan of about 4 inches.

Range: The Monarch Butterfly is found throughout most of North America, Madeira, the Canary Islands, and parts of Portugal and Spain. It is also found in Australia and New Zealand where it is called the Wanderer Butterfly.

Migration: The Monarch Butterfly is well known for its legendary migration. Monarchs in the eastern United States begin their lengthy migration to one of several points in the rainforests of Mexico in August, where they congregate in huge, colorful flocks. Only butterflies born at the end of the summer will embark on the two-month journey. Such butterflies enter the world in a non-reproductive state called diapause, and live much longer than reproductive monarchs (up to seven months). These butterflies reproduce in February or March after leaving their winter homes. The offspring of these monarchs return to the United States in spring. Monarchs in the western United States migrate to locations in central California.

Life Cycle: The female Monarch lays her eggs in late winter, spring, or early summer. When the larva hatches, it immediately eats its egg case and begins feeding on Milkweed. The caterpillar soon spins a silk pad on a leaf or twig and hangs upside down in a "J" formation, as its jade green chrysalis forms around it. The butterfly forms inside the chrysalis and emerges in about two weeks and feeds on a variety of flowers including milkweed, goldenrod, and red clover.

Defense: The Monarch Butterfly develops an effective defense from the milkweed it feeds upon. Its poisonous nature is advertised to would-be predators in the forms of its bright orange and black coloration.


Butterflies Activities


Butterflies Home

This is the main index page for the crickets section.

Virtual Butterfly Garden

Virtual Butterfly Garden Game

This fun game allows students to create nine of their own butterflies, release them in one of five habitats, and catch them with specialized butterfly nets (challenging!)



Use your addition or subtraction skills to help the caterpillar "mathemorphosize" to a beautiful butterfly. Each time you answer a math problem correctly, your caterpillar will chew up a leaf and get larger. If you keep answering questions correctly, your butterfly will form a cocoon (chrysalis) around itself until it bursts out as one of four different kinds of butterflies.


Butterfly Interactive Scavenger Hunt

Use my animated butterfly book to answer ten questions. Immediate feedback is given!

Butterfly story

Paper Wings Picture Story

This is a beautiful story about the the metamorphosis of a caterpillar to a butterfly. This story comes with lots of activities!

Reading Comprehension

Butterflies Reading Online Comprehension

This is an interactive, online reading passage with five multiple choice questions. Immediate feedback is given and students can print out achievement certificates.

Printable Reading

Butterflies Printable Reading Comprehension

This is a printable version of the online reading comprehension exercise.

Cloze Reading

Butterflies Cloze Reading

This is an interactive cloze reading exercises. Students must use the words from the word bank to complete the butterfly-themed passage. Immediate feedback is given.

Word Search

Butterflies Word Search

Find as many cricket-themed words as possible in this challenging, online word search.


Butterflies Jigsaw

This is a fun, customizable online cricket jigsaw puzzle perfect for any age.


Butterfly Profiles

Monarch Butterfly
Painted Lady
Painted Lady
Blue Morpho
Luna Moth
Atlas Moth