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Monarch Mission

For many of us, one of our fondest memories of elementary school is observing monarch butterflies in the classroom and learning about metamorphosis as these remarkable creatures transformed from caterpillars to butterflies right in front of our eyes. As educators, many of you have probably used the monarch butterfly to teach about life cycles and migration. But this iconic species is in trouble and, like many of our pollinator species, is in decline.

monarch butterfly on sunflower

The Monarch Mission: Empowering Students to Improve Monarch Habitat was developed to complement the National Wildlife Federation's Eco-Schools USA and Schoolyard Habitat® programs, and to guide the construction of a school’s monarch recovery garden and monarch observations. Starting with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), the lessons and activities were designed to support learning within the PK-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12 grade bands.

The resources below were developed for The Monarch Mission by the National Wildlife Federation with support from the LEGO Community Fund U.S. An introduction and appendix are also available.

In addition, the National Wildlife Federation is proud to offer The Monarch Mission curriculum in Spanish.

Download Spanish Edition


The Monarch Mission is comprised of three key components:

The curriculum is one component of a much larger student experience. The Monarch Recovery Garden projects, like most outdoor classrooms and gardens, are constantly evolving and provide students with opportunities to: