Teaching and Learning Tools

Teaching and Learning Tools

Online Resources

Learn About Butterflies and Moths

  • Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA) - BAMONA is a user-friendly web site and database that shares butterfly and moth species information with the public via dynamic maps, checklists, and species pages. Data are updated regularly and come from a variety of sources, including citizen scientists. Teachers and schools can get involved by documenting butterflies and moths at their schools or in their neighborhoods and submitting photographs for review. Collaborating lepidopterists serve as coordinators and oversee quality control. The site also defines insect terminology in the entomological terms glossary.
  • Monarch Watch In the Classroom - Find curriculum guides, suggestions for research projects, vocabulary words, and more from Monarch Watch.
  • The Incredible Journey of the Butterflies - This NOVA video highlights the 2,000 mile migration of monarch butterflies to a sanctuary in the highlands of Mexico. Watch the 60-minute program online or purchase a DVD.
  • The Life Cycle of a Butterfly - A lesson plan created by Joy Lewallen at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.
  • Thematic Unit for Use With Chipo's Gift - Deb Troehler, author of Chipo's Gift, has created a thematic unit for use by teachers and parents. The unit is designed for use in grades K-2.
  • Life Cycle of the Cecropia Moth - Mary VanSlyke has created a beautiful poster depicting the life cycle of the Cecropia Moth.
  • Butterfly Quest 2007 - A project that gives updated information about butterflies, in readily accessible digital files. A text file and a PowerPoint file are available for download, and you can burn CDs of the slide show for use in the classroom, with your gardening group, or for an environmental education program.

Learn About Pollination and Pollinators

While most butterflies are poor pollinators, some species of moths provide this valuable service.

  • Nature's Partners: Pollinators, Plants, and You - An inquiry learning-based curriculum for young people in the 4th through the 6th grade.
  • Pick the Pollinator - A game created by PBS NOVA where users "match seven plants with their pollinators and learn some of the reasons why flowering plants have come to dominate the botanical world."
  • Pollinators - Busy Doing What? - This episode of the Canadian Hinterland Who's Who focuses on pollinators. Watch the ~8 min episode online or order a free DVD.
  • Plant Pollination Strategies - This site was created by the U.S. Forest Service to describe examples of plant pollination strategies, including wind, water, and animals.
  • Planning a Pollinator Garden - This activity was developed by the National Gardening Association to help kids create a pollinator-friendly garden.


NOVA-butterflies.jpg  This NOVA video highlights the 2,000 mile migration of monarch butterflies to a sanctuary in Mexico. It is available online or for purchase.
SkippersOfTheNortheast.jpg  This Skippers of the Northeast video series by Richard K. Walton features skippers (family Hesperiidae) from the Northeastern United States and southeastern Canada. In these short videos, similar looking skippers as well as species that regularly fly together in the same habitat are placed together for direct comparison.
AMNH-forYouTube.jpg In this video from the American Museum of Natural History Hazel Davies (AMNH's Manager of Living Exhibits) and Whitney Doreen Ortiz walk through the vivarium and interact with butterflies from around the world: blue morphos, striking scarlet swallowtails and large owl butterflies.
BflyEssentialsCover.jpg Rent and watch online, or purchase and download these fantastic videos: Audubon Butterfly Essentials: Butterfly Gardening and Butterflies for Beginners (Jim Ebner and Paul Opler)
AudBfly-VideoGuide.jpg Rent and watch online, or purchase and download this 2.5 hr video: Audubon VideoGuide to Butterflies Common and Endangered.