Teaching Suggestions
A Dozen Butterfly Eggs

Explore the science and wonder of butterfly eggs by looking closely at images of magnified eggs. Build students' understanding by drawing and describing butterfly eggs, as a scientist and as an artist/poet.

1. Go on an Egg Hunt!
Inspect a dozen butterfly eggs.(Use photo gallery images without labels.) Hunt for details that distinguish one egg from another. Can you find the monarch's egg?


2. Compare and Contrast Butterfly Eggs
Revisit images of the butterfly eggs (images with labels). Invite students to describe details they see in each photo. Encourage students to simply share their responses to each image.

Have students cut out each photo and use them to create captions that describe details they see: colors, shapes, distinctive features, etc.

  • Variation: Have each student select a non-monarch egg. Describe the egg in detail, comparing it to the monarch egg. Have partners exchange descriptions and try to match descriptions with photos.

2. Draw and Describe Butterfly Eggs
Use the Draw and Describe handout to help students explore the science and art of butterfly eggs.

As a Scientist
Challenge students to use the photos to create scientific diagrams and written descriptions of butterfly eggs. Remind students that a scientist's work is objective. A scientist would represent and describe the characteristics and features—patterns, size, textures, and colors—of the eggs as accurately as possible.

As an Artist/Poet
The goal of expressive drawing and writing is to capture the thoughts and feelings that are inspired by observations of nature and life. An artist's work is subjective. In this form of communication, artists and poets have creative license and full freedom of expression. Challenge students to think about how an artist and poet would draw and describe a butterfly egg to express the beauty and wonder of its features. Brainstorm words that describe egg characteristics. Spark creativity by encouraging students to capture how they feel when they observe butterfly eggs on leaves in the backyard.

3. Read and Write Small Poems
Share poems from the book, "All the Small Poems and Fourteen More" by Valerie Worth. This book beautifully showcases how small things become extraordinary when they are keenly observed. After reading sample poems, invite students to write and illustrate their own small poems about butterfly eggs. Encourage them to revisit images from the photo gallery during their writing time.


Photo Gallery: Butterfly Eggs
Photo Gallery
Without Labels

Butterfly Eggs
Photo Gallery
With Labels

Journal Page

Draw and Describe


Small poems

All the Small Poems and Fourteen More
by Valerie Worth

Journal Page