Learn About Butterflies & Moths with These Spring Activities for K-1: Part 2

Butterflies and Moths

Students (and adults) often confuse the life cycles of butterflies and moths. Read the students the book "Butterflies and Moths" by Larry Dane Brimner. Then make a chart to compare the differences between them.


  • Spins a chrysalis.
  • Has straight antennae with knobby ends.
  • Is awake during the day and asleep at night.
  • Rests with its wings straight up.


  • Spins a cocoon.
  • Has feathery antennae without knobs.
  • Is asleep during the day and only comes out at night.
  • Rests with its wings flat.

You can even purchase butterfly and moth larvae for students to raise. Once they have spun their chrysalis/cocoon, you can place then in a box for viewing. Use a shoebox and cut out a viewing window on the end of the box. Tape a tight sheet of plastic wrap across the window so that the students can watch for hatching. Leave a cotton ball of sugar water in the box for the insect to feed on upon hatching. The chrysalis/cocoon will be hanging from the plastic lid of the container that the larvae arrived in. Simply tape the lid from the inside top of the shoebox for observation. Have a release party once they hatch.

Bulletin Board Idea

Spring is a time of growth and change. Make a bulletin board to help your students explore this concept. Title the bulletin board "Growing and Changing". On the board put up pictures of things that grow and change in the spring. Some ideas include:

  • Butterfly life cycle
  • Flowers growing, budding, and flowers opening
  • Baby animals hatching/being born
  • Leaves growing on trees
  • Life cycle of a frog

These pictures can be ones that you find in magazines or clip art, or assign different ideas to the students and have them make their own series of pictures to illustrate the changes of spring.

Books for Spring

Here is a listing of some great books to help bring spring into your classroom:

  • Spring: Signs of the Season Around North America by Valerie Gerard and Eric Thomas
  • Spring by Mary Meyer
  • If I Were An Ant by Amy Moses
  • Bees by Mary Ann McDonald
  • Honeybee’s Busy Day by Richard Fowler
  • The Very Clumsy Beetle by Eric Carle
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  • Butterfly by Claire Llewellyn and Simon Mendez
  • Grasshoppers by Ann Heinrichs
  • The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle
  • Chirping Crickets by Melvin Gerger
  • Ladybugs by Melvin Gerger
  • Spinning Spiders by Melvin Gerger
  • What is an Insect? by Robert Snedden and Adrian Lascom
  • The Lamb and the Butterfly by Arnold Sundgaard

When working on a unit or covering a topic, I always like making themed books available to the class. Leaving these titles out for independent or buddy reading will help them become more excited about the topic of spring and they will also extend their learning.

This post is part of the series: Seasonal Classroom Activities for Grades K-1

Classroom activities for each season.
  1. Fall Classroom Activities for Grades K-1
  2. Being Thankful for Thanksgiving With These Classroom Activities: Grades K-1
  3. Winter Classroom Activities For Grades K-1 Including Template Links
  4. Fun with Bugs! Spring Classroom Activities for K-1
  5. Butterflies & Months Spring Classroom Activities for K-1: Part 2