Butterfly Attraction/Butterfly Garden Activity

Overview and Objectives

Overview and Objectives      Preparatory Activities      Main Activities
Assessment      Resources      Lesson Home

Grade Level/Subjects: 8th Grade Science/Math

Curriculum Standards

Illinois Learning Standards

Science: 11A — Know and apply the concepts, principles and process of scientific inquiry.

12B - Know and apply concepts that describe how living things interact with each other and their environment.

13A — Know and apply the accepted practices of science.

13B — Know and apply concepts that describe the interaction between science, technology, and society.

Math: 7A - Measure and compare quantities using appropriate units, instruments, and methods.

7B - Estimate measurements and determine acceptable levels of accuracy.

10A - Organize, describe, and make predictions from existing data.

10B - Formulate questions, design data collection methods, gather and analyze data and communicate data.


This activity allows students to become familiar with the diversity of butterflies in various habitats. Students will complete a diversity evaluation of the area surrounding their school and compare the data to the information found at Fermilab. Students will attempt to increase the number of butterfly species by creating a butterfly garden at school. Students will think critically, mathematically, and scientifically to create the butterfly garden. The butterfly garden plan will be presented to classmates as a sales pitch, with the intention of actually planting a butterfly garden on school grounds for the community and classmates to enjoy. The butterfly garden will begin a longitudinal diversity study for future classes.


The purpose of this activity is for students to think critically and mathematically about the creation of a butterfly garden to attract butterflies in the area. Students will determine the butterfly species found in the local area. Students will create data tables, and the data will be used to create and present a final butterfly garden plan.

Learning Objectives:

Students will:

• Be engaged in the process of scientific inquiry through development and completion of a population diversity study of butterflies.

• Actively conduct a scientific inquiry project through close interaction with nature; observe butterflies in their environment and record data about butterflies.

• Compare butterfly populations in one area to another by participating in a field trip and taking data samples from the field trip site.

• Apply perimeter and area concepts to the creation of a butterfly garden.

• Create their own method of data collection for the diversity study.

• Utilize their own form of measurement to determine the dimensions of the butterfly garden plot.

• Create a sales pitch to "sell" the butterfly garden plan using a scale drawing as well as other graphic models.


Many Butterfly Garden Resource Books
Butterfly Net and Catch Jar (1 for each group of students)
Field Guides
Science Journal for each student
Insect Repellant (depending on area studied)

Overview and Objectives      Preparatory Activities      Main Activities
Assessment      Resources      Lesson Home

Developed by Marisa Lannert, 2001.