Very Hungry Butterflies

Your lesson will take place in Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden, a glass-enclosed garden filled with live foliage, a cascading waterfall, and colorful, free-flying North American and tropical butterflies. This lesson reminds students about the process of change in the life of a butterfly and allows them an opportunity to see the world through new eyes.

Lesson Extensions for Before or After Your Visit

The following activities are designed for your class to enjoy before or after your museum visit. Familiarizing students with the lesson concepts can enrich your museum experience.

Caterpillar Dance

Read the story The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Have students act out the movements of the caterpillar as you read the words. Students may enjoy making a sequenced painting of the three stages that the caterpillar went through during the story.

The Process of Change

  1. Have students witness the process of change by creating one of the following situations to observe:
    • Ice melting
    • Water evaporating on a chalkboard
    • Bean sprouting
    • Flower wilting
    Talk to students about what they noticed. Have them draw diagrams of the stages they witnessed. Discuss why they think these changes take place.
  2. Have students bring in baby pictures of themselves; the teacher should bring in one too! Take turns talking about how we have changed and how we are still the same.


Have fun with students while they pretend to be butterflies at school. Throughout the day help them to imagine how a butterfly might do the things they do. How would a butterfly sit in its chair? What would a butterfly do on the playground? What would a butterfly eat for lunch and how would he or she eat it?

Students could write a group poem entitled “If I were a butterfly...” Have each student finish the sentence and illustrate it to hang up in the room.