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How Do Monarchs Find Milkweed?
Teaching Suggestions

Back to Slideshow Overview


Monarch butterflies must use their senses to find milkweed plants in order to lay their eggs. Using the facts and photos in this slideshow, explore the combination of visual and chemical cues monarchs need to detect milkweed.

Essential Question:
How do monarchs sense the world, and which senses lead them to milkweed?


  • Build understanding about how monarch butterflies use sensory organs to find milkweed plants.
  • Build effective note-taking and comprehension skills through modeling and guided practice.

After viewing photos and reading the slideshow, students will be able to:

1. Describe how monarch butterflies find milkweed plants.

2. Write discovery statements that summarize main ideas revealed in the slideshow.

Pre-Viewing the Slideshow

Find the Facts: Pre-Reading Challenge
Read aloud the title question: How do monarch butterflies find milkweed?

Give students about five minutes to share ideas: background knowledge, predictions, and questions. Help students make connections by asking them to share how they locate items they use every day.

Spark their curiosity and build anticipation by distributing the Find the Facts handout. Have students read each statement and predict which ones are true prior to reading the slideshow. Encourage them to refer back to the sentences during and after reading the text.

Find the Facts

Viewing the Slideshow


Read aloud the slideshow as a class. Stop periodically to assess understanding, look for details in photos, and model effective comprehension strategies.

Reread the slideshow together, stopping after each page. Think aloud to model how you identify main ideas and details.


After-Viewing the Slideshow: Revisit and Reflect

Attribute Chart for Note-Taking
After reading the slideshow together as a class, use the Attribute Chart to demonstrate effective note-taking and thoughtful reflection. Show students how a graphic organizer, like this attribute chart, can be used to build understanding. Model how to go beyond “copying full sentences” by using the chart to categorize key words and fact phrases. Encourage students to join in the fun by suggesting where specific facts from the selection should be recorded and why. Stress that there may be more than one way to complete the chart and that not all of the categories may be needed. The goal is not to find correct answers; the purpose is to use the chart to model strategies, build understanding, and facilitate reflective discussion.

Snapshot Sentences/Photo Gallery
Revisit images from the slideshow by using the photo gallery page in a variety of ways. Challenge students to write headline-style captions for each image. Just as authors use sensory details to write descriptive sentences, invite students to write snapshot sentences for each image on the page. Encourage them to reveal facts they learned from the text in the descriptive sentences they write.

Draw From the Text
Provide an opportunity for students to revisit the slideshow on their own. Challenge them to reread the information and find descriptive details that help them picture the facts. Have students draw simple sketches to show what they learned.

Attribute Chart for Note-taking

Photo Gallery

Draw From the Text

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