• Dance
  • Grades K-2
  • Science
  • Life Cycles

A Butterfly’s Life Cycle Dance
What are the life cycle stages of a butterfly?

In this K-2 lesson, students will choreograph an original dance that communicates the life cycle stages of the monarch butterfly. They will read Eric Carle’s book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and explore the monarch butterfly migration process.

Lesson Content

Learning Objectives 

Students will: 

  • Determine important details from Eric Carle’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
  • Recall events from The Very Hungry Caterpillar through illustrations.
  • Examine photographs of the stages of the monarch butterfly life cycle.
  • Plan a sequence of movements that demonstrate the monarch’s life cycle stages.
  • Choreograph and perform a dance focusing on the life cycle of the monarch butterfly.


Standards Alignment

Recommended Materials

Slide: The Monarch Butterfly, Book: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, Illuminated Films: The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle’s Cocoon Explanation, Monarch Butterfly Amazing Migration, Elements of Dance, Dancer Checklist, Monarch Metamorphosis Time Lapse, Life Cycle of the Monarch Caterpillar, Brainstorm Facilitation Questions, Criteria for Success: Butterfly Dance


Teacher Background 

Teachers should have an understanding of life cycles and be comfortable with creative movement for learning. For early elementary, the elements can be described as an art form in which a dancer moves through space and time with energy. For more detail, use the Elements of Dance Organizer from the Perpich Center for Arts Education. 


Student Prerequisites 

Students may have some general knowledge of dance but it is not necessary. 


Accessibility Accommodations 

Students with physical disabilities may need modified movements.

  • Original Writer

    Maureen Carroll

  • Adaptation

    Rebecca Haden

  • Editor

    JoDee Scissors

  • Updated

    September 16, 2019

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