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Teaching Suggestions

The Monarch's Winter Sanctuary 
Back to Slideshow

Take students into the monarch's winter sanctuary with the eyes of a scientist. Watch how observations lead to questions. Use the slideshow as a springboard for research and discovery.

Essential Question
How do overwintering monarchs survive in the oyamel forest habitat?

Set the Stage for Learning

1. Display the first image.
Have students imagine that they are standing in an oyamel forest observing monarch butterflies. Ask questions:

  • What might the butterflies be doing?
  • What would it be like to live in a forest habitat? What would you need to survive?
  • Where in the forest would you look for the overwintering monarchs?

The Monarch's Winter Sanctuary


2. Preview images in the Photo Gallery. Read aloud the essential question:

  • How do overwintering monarchs survive in the oyamel forest habitat?

Take a picture walk through the photos. Have students describe details that reveal clues about overwintering monarchs in their oyamel forest habitat. Have them use the Note-taking Chart to record what they see and what they wonder.

Encourage students to add ideas to the chart as you read the slideshow together. Provide time to share discoveries and questions.

Photo Gallery

Note-taking Chart

Viewing the Slideshow

Read through the pages of the slideshow together. Stop occasionally to spotlight key ideas or ask questions. A booklet of slideshow can be assembled for at-home reading. 

Revisit for Understanding

1. Mark up the text.
Use the text-only version of the slideshow. Have students underline words and phrases that reveal clues about how overwintering monarchs survive in the oyamel forest.

2. Build vocabulary and assess learning.
Have students use the verbs on the infographic or word bank to describe how overwintering monarchs survive in the oyamel forest.

Monarch Butterfly Migration Journal

Word bank

Word Bank

Wrap Up

Get ready for research.
Create a wall-sized version of the note-taking chart. As you read monarch news updates and explore the winter resources and slideshows, add discoveries and questions to the chart.


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