My BEST Science Activity


Title: Butterfly Cycle       

Teacher: Hawthorne

Grade Level: 2

Objective: The student will understand the basic principles of inheritance.




20-25 Caterpillars

Caterpillar food

Butterfly hatchery

Student logs for journal entry


*A complete kit can be bought in a science catalog or Target and Toys R Us will sell kits around Christmas time.

*Plan to do this in the spring when the weather is warmer and you can release the butterflies. 


Buy 20-25 baby caterpillars and food.  The kit should come with individual containers for each caterpillar.  The children will enjoy watching the caterpillars get fatter and fatter.  Have the children fill out a daily journal entry about their observation of how the caterpillars have changed.  This will take a couple of weeks.


When the caterpillars are fat and done eating, they will form into a chrysalis (pupa) at the top of the lid.  When it is completely formed, you will tape all of the pupas to the top of the butterfly house. 


After a few weeks, the butterflies will begin to emerge.  Put a little sugar water in the house for a day or two, until all the butterflies have hatched.  Take the class outside and release them together.  Next to a flower garden if you have one.


During this time the children are to keep a journal of their observations.  The butterfly life cycle can lead to the life cycle of other insects, amphibians and animals.