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Butterfly Garden Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

Butterfly gardens can be specially designed to attract, feed, and shelter butterflies. This lesson plan provides a brief background on the butterfly garden and explains the necessary steps for constructing one. An activity brings concept butterfly gardens to life!

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • summarize key characteristics of butterflies
  • list examples of plants and flowers that attract butterflies
  • explain key elements of the butterfly garden


60 to 90 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Pose and respond to specific questions with elaboration and detail by making comments that contribute to the topic, text, or issue under discussion.


Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.


Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, images, music, sound) and visual displays in presentations to clarify information.


  • Assorted photographs of butterfly gardens
  • A list of key facts about butterflies, including the types of butterflies that are common in your area
  • A list of flowers (appropriate for your specific region) that attract butterflies
  • Empty shoe boxes
  • Construction paper in assorted colors
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Tissue paper
  • Pipe cleaners


  • Begin by displaying the photographs of the butterfly gardens for the class.
    • What do the photographs have in common?
    • Did you guess that the photographs feature butterfly gardens?
  • Explain to the class the idea that butterfly gardens are gardens that are specifically designed and constructed to attract, feed, and provide shelter for butterflies. They can be large or small, but must contain certain things to be successful.
  • Share the list of butterfly facts with the class.
  • Read the list of flowers that attract butterflies to the class, providing photographs of each when possible. Include explanations of ideal growing conditions for the plants and flowers in your summary.
  • Tell the class that successful butterfly gardens should also offer shelter such as tall grass, a log, or a fell tree. These objects can help to protect the butterflies in the garden from predators.
  • Tell the class that butterflies also need a water source.
    • What types of items could be used to collect water in a butterfly garden?

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