How is Monarch Habitat Changing?
Teaching Suggestions

Monarchs survive only in environments in which their needs are met.
The timing of fall migration is tied to seasonal changes in monarch habitat.

How does seasonal change affect monarchs and migration?


Lesson Goals

  • Understand basic needs of monarch butterflies: food, water, shelter, and space to grow and reproduce.
  • Observe seasonal changes in monarch habitats.
  • Examine how seasonal changes in outdoor habitats affect monarch butterflies.
Instructional Activities

1. Describe Signs of Seasonal Change
Use these images to introduce this lesson:

  • What changes do you see in these photos?
  • How might these changes affect monarchs?

2. Observe Outdoor Habitats
Take students outside. Ask questions to help them identify the seasonal changes that affect monarch butterflies:

  • Where could a monarch find what it needs?
  • How will our habitat change in the coming days, weeks, months?

During the fall seasons, make additional outdoor observations to collect evidence of habitat changes.

3. Assess Background Knowledge
Use the Thinking Questions and Clue Cards to assess students' background knowledge about monarch habitat and seasonal change.

4. Make Predictions
Predict the timing of fall migration based on your outdoor observations. Revisit the Thinking Questions to encourage students to make connections and draw conclusions. This Fact Sheet is provided for teacher reference.

Seasonal Change in Monarch Butterfly HabitatSigns of Change

Outdoor Observations




Thinking Questions
Clue Cards

Fact Sheet