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LEGO's Monarch Mission Lessons

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.

The lessons and activities that are part of The Monarch Mission: Empowering Students to Improve Monarch Habitat were created to complement the National Wildlife Federation's Eco-Schools USA and Schoolyard Habitat® work, and to accompany the construction of a school’s Monarch Recovery Gardens and monarch observations.

The curriculum is only one component to the overall experience. The Monarch Mission project is not a short-term learning project. It is a long-term learning experience that will allow students to:

  • Increase the available habitat needs of the monarch, subsequently leading to an increase in monarch numbers
  • Provide a variety of field experiences for students, allowing them to apply new learning and practice critical science, engineering and 21st-century skills
  • Build awareness in the community about a national environmental issue, while providing local solutions that can help bring them together, resulting in positive impacts for pollinator species, specifically the monarch butterfly.

Each of these lessons and activities were designed starting with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) standards for the following grade bands: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12.

As lessons and activities are being developed from the NGSS we are focusing on three key components:

  • Project-Based Learning: using Monarch Recovery Gardens as the focus for place- and project-based learning experiences.
  • Green STEM: Using the natural world as the lens in which to integrate science, technology, engineering, and math
  • Interdisciplinary Instruction: a scientifically literate student is able to communicate about topics in science and understand the historical value or nature of an issue and to use art to drive creativity and innovation.

Below are the latest resources that have been developed for The Monarch Mission by the National Wildlife Federation and the LEGO Community Fund U.S.

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