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National Science Education Standards
Spring Monarch Lessons

Journey North's Monarch Migration project helps bring a wide range of National Science Education Standards to life. Browse this chart by content area and then link directly to information and activities that reflect your teaching goals. As you review the activities, consider how you can adapt them to your unique context and students' abilities. (Also see the Journey North for Kids Learning Standards and Themes.)

Science as Inquiry Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
Life Science History and Nature of Science
Earth and Space Science  

National Science Education Standard
Journey North Monarch Activity or Lesson

SCIENCE AS INQUIRY
ABILITIES NECESSARY TO DO SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY

Ask a question about objects, organisms, events. (K-4)

Caterpillar Feast
Larva Locomotion: A Closer Look
A Butterfly is Born
Feeding a Butterfly in Dr. Fink's Kitchen
Monitoring Habitat While You Wait
Monarch Butterfly Migration Checklist
Mystery Monarch Adaptation
Monarch on the Move, or Mistaken Sighting
A Case of Mistaken Identity

Plan and conduct a simple investigation. (K-4) Life is Sweet for Monarchs
Employ simple equipment/tools to gather data and extend senses. (K-4) Monarch Butterfly Migration Checklist
The Monarch's Journey North
Use data to conduct a reasonable explanation. (K-4)

Predicting Monarchs' Spring Migration Route
Caterpillar Feast
Larva Locomotion: A Closer Look
Which Grows Faster: Monarch or Milkweed?
Expecting Monarchs in Arkansas
Predicting the 1st Spring Generation
Monitoring Spring Habitat While You Wait
Monarchs in the News: Write a Column
Do Monarchs Migrate Across the Gulf?
Mass Migration in California: But Were They Monarchs?
Human Population Centers and Monarch Reports
Which Monarchs Are Migrating from Mexico?
Comparing Monarch Migration Patterns from Year to Year
Flower-powered Migratory Species: Compare/Contrast
Expecting Monarchs in Arkansas: News from the Nursery
Monarch on the Move, or Mistaken Sighting
The Monarch's Journey North

Local or Migratory Butterfly: Looking for Evidence

New Butterfly or Old: Watching the Wings for Clues

Comparing Monarch Migration Patterns From Year to Year

Identify questions that can be answered through scientific investigations. (5-8) Larva Locomotion: A Closer Look
Use appropriate tools and techniques to gather, analyze, and interpret data. (5-8) Monarch Butterfly Migration Checklist
Develop descriptions, explanations, predictions, and models using evidence. (5-8) Predicting the 1st Spring Generation
Monitoring Spring Habitat While You Wait
Monarchs in the News: Write a Column
Mass Migration in California: But Were They Monarchs?
Flower-powered Migratory Species: Compare/Contrast
The Monarch's Journey North

Local or Migratory Butterfly: Looking for Evidence

Comparing Monarch Migration Patterns From Year to Year
Think critically and logically to make relationship between evidence and explanations. (5-8) Predicting the Spring Migration Route
Mass Migration in California: But Were They Monarchs?
Human Population Centers and Monarch Reports
Monarch on the Move, or Mistaken Sighting
The Monarch's Journey North

Local or Migratory Butterfly: Looking for Evidence

Comparing Monarch Migration Patterns From Year to Year
Recognize/analyze alternative explanations and predictions. (5-8) Human Population Centers and Monarch Reports
Use math in all aspects of scientific inquiry. (5-8) Which Grows Faster: Monarch or Milkweed?
Predicting the 1st Spring Generation
When Do Monarchs Normally Arrive in Your Home Town?
How Many Eggs Can a Single Monarch Lay?
Two Thousand Times in Just Two Weeks - How Much Would You Weigh?
UNDERSTANDINGS ABOUT SCIENCE INQUIRY
Science investigations involve asking and answering a question and comparing that to what scientists already know about the world. (K-4) Caterpillar Identification Quiz
Herbivores and Plants: A Coevolutionary Arms Race
Mass Migration in California: But Were They Monarchs?
Monarch on the Move, or Mistaken Sighting
Sightings Wanted: Can You Tell a Viceroy from a Monarch?
New Butterfly or Old: Watching the Wings for Clues

Time to Revisit Views About Monarch Migration?
 
Scientists use different kinds of investigations depending on the questions they are trying to answer. Types of investigations include describing objects, events, and organisms; classifying them; and doing a fair test (experimenting). (K-4) Herbivores and Plants: A Coevolutionary Arms Race
Predators and Parasites on the Prowl
Male vs. Female Monarch Behavior
Expecting Monarchs in Arkansas
Practice with Butterfly Identification
Monitoring Habitat While You Wait
Monarch Butterfly Migration Checklist
Simple instruments, such as magnifiers, thermometers, and rulers, provide more information than scientists obtain using only their senses. (K-4) Why Does the Chrysalis Twist ? (Video clip)
Life is Sweet for Monarchs
Flapping Flight: a Look at Flight in Slow Motion
Scientists develop explanations using observations (evidence) and what they already know about the world. Good explanations are based on evidence from investigations. (K-4) Herbivores and Plants: A Coevolutionary Arms Race
Mass Migration in California: But Were They Monarchs?
Monarch on the Move, or Mistaken Sighting  
Analyzing Migration Maps: Watch Your Language

Local or Migratory Butterfly: Looking for Evidence

Time to Revisit Views About Monarch Migration?
 
Scientists make the results of their investigations public; they describe the investigations in ways that enable others to repeat the investigations. (K-4) Herbivores and Plants: A Coevolutionary Arms Race
Different kinds of questions suggest different kinds of scientific investigations. Some involve observing and describing objects, organisms, or events; some involve collecting specimens; some involve experiments; some involve seeking more information; some involve discovery of new objects and phenomena; and some involve making models. (5-8) Herbivores and Plants: A Coevolutionary Arms Race
Male vs. Female Monarch Behavior
Practice with Butterfly Identification
Monitoring Habitat While You Wait
Monarch Butterfly Migration Checklist
Current scientific knowledge and understanding guide scientific investigations. (5-8) Time to Revisit Views About Monarch Migration?
Scientific explanations emphasize evidence, have logically consistent arguments, and use scientific principles, models, and theories. The scientific community accepts and uses such explanations until displaced by better scientific ones. When such displacement occurs, science advances. (5-8) Herbivores and Plants: A Coevolutionary Arms Race S
Monarch on the Move, or Mistaken Sighting S
Time to Revisit Views About Monarch Migration?
S
Mathematics is important in all aspects of scientific inquiry. (5-8)  

LIFE SCIENCE
THE CHARACTERISTICS OF ORGANISMS

Organisms have basic needs. For example, animals need air, water and food; plants require air, water, nutrients, and light. Organisms can survive only in environments in which their needs can be met. The world has many different environments, and distinct ones support the life of different types of organisms. (K-4) A Look at the Life of a Monarch Caterpillar
A Day in the Life of a Butterfly Egg
Life of a Monarch Caterpillar
Caterpillar Feast
Exploring Milkweed Ecology
Life is Sweet for Monarchs
How is a Human Vacation Like Monarch Migration?
Story of a Life's Journey
Flower-powered Migratory Species: Compare/Contrast
Milkweeds and Monarchs: Comparing Adaptation Strategies
Can YOU Find the Monarch's Winter Home in Mexico?
More Photos, Maps, Landscape Views
Monarchs are Cold-blooded Creatures: The Basics
Why Come Back North in the Spring
Speaking of Eggs: A Conversation with Dr. Brower
Each plant or animal has different structures that serve different functions in growth, survival, reproduction. (K-4) A Look at the Life of a Monarch Caterpillar
Larva Locomotion: A Closer Look
Why Does the Chrysalis Twist ? (Video clip)
Exploring Milkweed Ecology
Feeding a Butterfly in Dr. Fink's Kitchen
Life is Sweet for Monarchs
How is a Human Vacation Like Monarch Migration?
Story of a Life's Journey
Mystery Monarch Adaptation
Flower-powered Migratory Species: Compa re/Contrast
Caterpillar Identification Quiz
Sightings Wanted: Can You Tell a Viceroy from a Monarch?
New Butterfly or Old: Watching the Wings for Clues

Inside the Chrysalis

A Bird Hatches and a Butterfly Ecloses: What’s the Difference?
How Did the Monarch Escape from the Lizard?
The behavior of individual organisms is influenced by internal cues (such as hunger) and by external cues (such as a change in the environment). Humans and other organisms have senses that help them detect internal and external cues. (K-4) Flower-powered Migratory Species: Compare/Contrast
Can YOU Find the Monarch's Winter Home in Mexico?
More Photos, Maps, Landscape Views
Monarchs are Cold-blooded Creatures: The Basics
Time to Revisit Views About Monarch Migration?
 
LIFE CYCLES OF ORGANISMS
Plants and animals have life cycles that include being born, developing into adults, reproducing, and eventually dying. The details of this life cycle are different for different organisms. (K-4) Monarch Life Cycle
A Day in the Life of a Butterfly Egg
Why Does the Chrysalis Twist ? (Video clip)
Insect Reproduction Strategy
A Butterfly is Born
Predators and Parasites on the Prowl
Monarch Life Cycle: What is a Generation?
How Long Do Monarchs Live? Estimating the Lifespan
Expecting Monarchs in Arkansas
Predicting the 1st Spring Generation
Story of a Life's Journey
Expecting Monarchs in Arkansas: News from the Nursery
Spring Recolonization of North America
How Many Eggs Can a Single Monarch Lay?
Speaking of Eggs: A Conversation with Dr. Brower
New Butterfly or Old: Watching the Wings for Clues

What is an Instar? The Five Stages of Caterpillar Growth

A Bird Hatches and a Butterfly Ecloses: What’s the Difference?

ORGANISMS AND THEIR ENVIRONMENTS

All animals depend on plants. Some animals eat plants for food. Others eat animals that eat plants. (K-4) Which Grows Faster: A Monarch or a Milkweed Plant?
Exploring Milkweed Ecology
Recommended Reading: Milkweed, Monarchs, and More
Life is Sweet for Monarchs
Flower-powered Migratory Species: Compare/Contrast
An organism's behavior patterns are related to the nature of that organism's environment, including the kinds and number of other organisms present, the availability of food and resources, and the physical characteristics of the environment. When environment changes, some plants and animals survive and reproduce, and others die or move to new locations. (K-4) Recommended Reading: Milkweed, Monarchs, and More
Flapping Flight: A Look at Flight in Slow Motion
Flower-powered Migratory Species: Compare/Contrast
Milkweeds and Monarchs: Comparing Adaptation Strategies
Time to Revisit Views About Monarch Migration?

STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION IN LIVING SYSTEMS

Living systems at all levels of organization demonstrate the complementary nature of structure and function. (5-8) Why Does the Chrysalis Twist ? (Video clip)
Exploring Milkweed Ecology
Feeding a Butterfly in Dr. Fink's Kitchen
Life is Sweet for Monarchs
Mystery Monarch Adaptation
Flower-powered Migratory Species: Compare/Contrast
Can You Tell a Viceroy from a Monarch? 
Inside the Chrysalis

How Did the Monarch Escape from the Lizard?
REPRODUCTION AND HEREDITY
Reproduction is a characteristic of all living systems; because no individual organism lives forever, reproduction is essential to the continuation of every species. Some organisms reproduce asexually. Other organisms reproduce sexually. (5-8)

Monarch Life Cycle: What is a Generation?
Male vs. Female Monarch Behavior
Insect Reproduction Strategy
Expecting Monarchs in Arkansas: News from the Nursery

 

Every organism requires a set of instructions for specifying its traits. Heredity is the passage of these instructions from one generation to another. (5-8) Insect Reproduction Strategy
REGULATION AND BEHAVIOR
All organisms must be able to obtain and use resources, grow, reproduce, and maintain stable internal conditions in a constantly changing external environment. (5-8) Entire Monarch Study
Life of a Monarch Caterpillar

Story of a Life's Journey
Milkweeds and Monarchs: Comparing Adaptations/ Strategies
A Look at the Life of a Monarch Caterpillar
Monarchs are Cold-blooded Creatures: The Basics
Why Come Back North in the Spring

 
Regulation of an organism's internal environment involves sensing the internal environment and changing physiological activities to keep conditions within range required to survive. (5-8)

Monarchs are Cold-blooded Creatures: The Basics


 

Behavior is one kind of response an organism can make to an internal or environmental stimulus. A behavioral response requires coordination and communication at many levels, including cells, organ systems, and whole organisms. Behavioral response is determined in part by heredity and in part from experience. (5-8) Life of a Monarch Caterpillar
Insect Reproduction Strategy
A Look at the Life of a Monarch Caterpillar
Monarchs are Cold-blooded Creatures: The Basics
An organism's behavior evolves through adaptation to its environment. How a species moves, obtains food, reproduces, and responds to danger are based in the species' evolutionary history. (5-8) Herbivores and Plants: A Coevolutionary Arms Race
Exploring Milkweed Ecology
Adaptations to a World in Which Warm Air Rises
Songbirds Fly Under Night Skies. Do Monarchs?
Milkweeds and Monarchs: Comparing Adaptation Strategies
What is the Caterpillar Doing . . . and Why?
How Did the Monarch Escape from the Lizard?
POPULATIONS AND ECOSYSTEMS
Populations of organisms can be categorized by the function they serve in an ecosystem. Plants and some microorganisms are producers?they make their own food. All animals, including humans, are consumers, which obtain food by eating other organisms. Decomposers, primarily bacteria and fungi, are consumers that use waste materials and dead organisms for food. Food webs identify the relationships among producers, consumers, and decomposers in an ecosystem. (5-8) Recommended Reading: Milkweed, Monarchs, and More
DIVERSITY AND ADAPTATIONS
Biological evolution accounts for the diversity of species through gradual processes over many generations. Species acquire many of their unique characteristics through biological adaptation, which involves the selection of naturally occurring variations in populations. Biological adaptations include changes in structures, behaviors, or physiology that enhance survival and reproductive success in a particular environment. (5-8) Herbivores and Plants: A Coevolutionary Arms Race
Recommended Reading: Milkweed, Monarchs, and More
Life is Sweet for Monarchs
Adaptations to a World in Which Warm Air Rises
Mystery Monarch Adaptation
Songbirds Fly Under Night Skies. Do Monarchs?
What is the Caterpillar Doing . . . and Why?
How Did the Monarch Escape from the Lizard?

D. EARTH AND SPACE SCIENCE

CHANGES IN THE EARTH AND SKY
Weather changes from day to day and over the seasons. Weather can be described by measurable quantities, such as temperature, wind direction and speed, and precipitation. (K-4) ??
Objects in the sky have patterns of movement. The sun, for example, appears to move across the sky in the same way every day, but its path changes slowly over the seasons. The moon moves across the sky on a daily basis much like the sun. The observable shape of the moon changes from day to day in a cycle that lasts about a month. (K-4) ??
STRUCTURE OF THE EARTH SYSTEM
Clouds, formed by the condensation of water vapor, affect weather and climate. (5-8) ??
Global patterns of atmospheric movement influence local weather. Oceans have a major effect on climate, because water in oceans holds a large amount of heat. (5-8) ??
EARTH IN THE SOLAR SYSTEM
The sun is the major source of energy for phenomena on the earth's surface, such as growth of plants, winds, ocean currents, and the water cycle. Seasons result from variations in the amount of sun's energy hitting the surface, due to the tilt of the earth's rotation on its axis and the length of the day. (5-8) Reasons for Seasons (entire unit)

SCIENCE IN PERSONAL AND SOCIAL PERSPECTIVES

CHANGES IN ENVIRONMENTS

Environments are the spaces, conditions, and factors that affect an individual's and a population's ability to survive and their quality of life. (K-4) Can YOU Find the Monarch's Winter Home in Mexico?
More Photos, Maps, Landscape Views

Changes in environments can be natural or influenced by humans. Some changes are good, some are bad, and some are neither. Pollution is a change in the environment that can influence the health, survival, or activities of organisms, including humans. (K-4)

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HISTORY AND NATURE OF SCIENCE
SCIENCE AS A HUMAN ENDEAVOR

Although men and women using scientific inquiry have learned much about the objects, events, and phenomena in nature, much more remains to be understood. Science will never be finished. (K-4) Which Monarchs Are Migrating from Mexico?
Many people choose science as a career and devote their entire lives to studying it. Many people derive great pleasure from doing science. (K-4)
Why Does the Chrysalis Twist ? (Video clip)
Time to Revisit Views About Monarch Migration?
Inside the Chrysalis
NATURE OF SCIENCE
It is part of scientific inquiry to evaluate the results of scientific investigations, experiments, observations, theoretical models, and the explanations proposed by other scientists. Evaluation includes reviewing experimental procedures, examining the evidence, identifying faulty reasoning, pointing out statements that go beyond the evidence, and suggesting alternative explanations for the same observations. Although scientists may disagree about explanations of phenomena, about interpretations of data, or about the value of rival theories, they do agree that questioning, response to criticism, and open communication are integral to the process of science. As scientific knowledge evolves, major disagreements are eventually resolved through such interactions between scientists. (5-8) Citizen Science and Journey North
Analyzing Migration Maps: Watch Your Language

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