Did you know that butterflies have some of the most wonderful species names? They are so unique... Baltimore Checkerspot, Coyote Cloudy Wing, Dreamy Duskywing, etc, etc, etc! They paint such a wonderful image in my mind. That sparked the idea for this writing project. I do this project during my Life Cycle Unit in the spring, which integrates tons of other Science and ELA standards!
First, I have my students choose from one of the amazing butterfly species NAMES (you could draw randomly or let them pick). DO NOT SHOW THEM THE REAL BUTTERFLY PICTURE UNTIL PROJECT IS COMPLETE- only show them the NAME of the species! Then, I have the students brainstorm some ideas about what they imagine this type of butterfly might look like. After some brainstorming, we fold a piece of plain white construction paper in half and I show the students how to draw half of their butterfly to create symmetry. I let them get very creative with their wing shape! Then, the students cut the butterfly out and begin to design the wings.
When the students are done designing they write a paragraph describing their butterfly. We start the writing with "I imagine the Baltimore Checkerspot Butterfly to...".
After all students are finished with the project we share with the class and compare the real photo of the butterfly with the student imagined ones! SO FUN!!!
Butterfly Species Name Cards
Butterfly Species Picture Cards
Primary Lined Writing Paper
Intermediate Lined Writing Paper