Teaching Suggestions
Spring Migration: A Journey Driven by Needs
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Spring is a critical time for monarchs. As one generation reaches the end of its life, a new generation begins. Monarchs migrate in spring to meet their biological needs. The pace and pathway of migration depends on habitat readiness and quality.

Essential Question
When and where do monarchs travel to find what they need in the spring?


  1. Explain monarch's needs during spring migration.
  2. Describe reasons why spring is a critical time for monarchs.
  3. Predict when and where monarchs will migrate in order to find what they need to survive and reproduce.

1. Preview the slideshow
Use the headings handout to help students predict main ideas and details. Ask guiding questions to encourage thoughtful responses:

  • Why do monarchs migrate?
  • What do monarchs need in the spring?
  • Why is spring a critical time for monarchs?

2. Preview the essential question
Challenge students to think about the question:

  • When and where do monarchs travel to find what they need in the spring?

Provide clue words to encourage discussion: milkweed, eggs, life cycle, reproduce, month, weeks, survive, generation, spring, children, adult.

3. Read the slideshow
Encourage students to use the headings handout as a note-taking chart.

Headings Handout


After Reading

1. Revisit the essential question
Invite students to make predictions about what will happen during this year's spring migration based on facts they learned in the slideshow.
Record predictions on the journal page.

2. Track spring migration
Follow weekly migration updates to analyze this spring's migration. Invite students to report their milkweed and monarch observations.
Be sure to revisit the essential question throughout the season.


Journey North migration data help scientists understand when and where habitat is critical for monarchs in the springtime.

Journal Journal More