THERE ARE FEW THINGS AS MAGICAL AS THE MONARCH MIGRATION, at least to me! Living in Maine, it blows my mind that these tiny creatures can fly all the way from the Northeast to central México, making it to their destination before winter renders it impossible to continue. As part of my Second Grade curriculum, we follow the monarch migration each fall, and then again each spring, eagerly awaiting their arrival to our playground and back yards!
SINCE MY CLASSES ARE ONLY 30 MINUTES LONG, I integrate our 'monarch map' into our greeting activities, getting a 'two for one as it were' to maximize class time. We do a quicker greeting, using one from Responsive Classroom called the 'Butterfly greeting'- students say 'Hola' or 'Buenos días' to their neighbor next to them in the circle, interlocking their thumbs and waving their other fingers so it looks like their two hands form a butterfly flying. We then move on to the map, taking a look at weekly updates on Journey North's site (click here to visit) which gives us the information we need to be able to mark our class maps as to where the monarchs are.
WHOMEVER IS THE HELPER OF THE DAY has the privilege of adding to our map, using an orange marker to create a dotted line indicating the path of the butterflies, and moving our little butterfly icon up as well. It only takes two minutes or so, but my students eagerly await our updates each week!
AT THE BEGINNING OF SPRING, WE ALSO MAKE PREDICTIONS as to when the monarchs will arrive back in Maine- I use small clothespins with class names on them and clip them to the month on our calendar each class votes on. We all then keep our eyes peeled and see whether our predictions were on mark or not!
WANT TO TEACH ABOUT BUTTERFLIES AND THE MIGRATION and need resources? Grab our Theme Pack, which includes the butterfly icons seen in the photo above with the map! Your students will love learning about the life cycle of a butterfly with our printable minibook and theme activities- a great way to incorporate cross-content lessons! Add cultural perspectives with the migration to México and an authentic poem along with video links to authentic resources! Click here!