Create a map to illustrate the migration of monarch butterflies.
monarch butterfly, migration, map, color-coded map, map key
In this lesson students will create a color-coded map that illustrates the approximate timeline of the fall migration of monarch butterflies.
To start the lesson, you will want to introduce students to color-coded maps. A great place to start is by sharing a map from the weather page of the newspaper that shows the temperature bands for a given day. You might project that map (or the map of the day at AccuWeather.com) for all to see and then ask questions such as Will the high temperature today be in the 60s or 70s? or What will today's high temperature be in northern California?
Share some other color-coded maps, such as these:
Next, share with students that each fall monarch butterflies fly from the cooler northern climates to warmer areas of California, Mexico, Texas, and Florida. The Journey North Web site provides lots of good information about the monarchs' migration. Monarch Migration and Monarch Watch Migration & Tagging are two other good sources of information.
Write on a board or chart the following information. This data shows the approximate latitude of migrating butterflies throughout the fall migration:
|August 15||49 North Latitude|
|September 1||47 North Latitude|
|September 15||41 North Latitude|
|October 1||35 North Latitude|
|October 15||29 North Latitude|
|October 30||25 North Latitude|
|November 1||20 North Latitude|
|Source: Peak Monarch Migration Dates|
Have students draw on their maps the approximate locations of the lines of latitude listed above.
Then have students use crayons or markers to color each band on their map a different color.
Finally, have students create a map key that shows the approximate date represented by each band of color.
Use the Do-It-Yourself Color-Coded State Maps tool to create a map that shows the population of each of your state's counties. You can use this tool to "color" counties by their population. You might assign a different color to counties with populations of
Did students accurately draw and label the color bands on their monarch butterfly migration maps?
GRADES Pre-K - 12
NM-REP.PK-12.1 Create and Use Representations to Organize, Record, and Communicate Mathematical Ideas
NM-REP.PK-12.3 Use Representations to Model and Interpret Physical, Social, and Mathematical Phenomena
SOCIAL SCIENCES: Geography
GRADES K - 12
NSS-G.K-12.1 The World in Spatial Terms
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