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BLAST Elementary


Written and Photographed by Nic Bishop




Nic Bishop Butterflies and Moths

Simple, engaging text presents both basic information and fun, quirky facts about the insects' appearance, habits, and life cycles.


Open-Ended Questions

When working with two connecting informational texts in the classroom, it's helpful to use a KLL chart to introduce the topic, access students' prior knowledge, and review what they have learned. The chart is broken into 3 sections: "K" for "We know...", "L" for "We learned...", and "L" for "We also learned..."

Begin by asking the students what they already know about butterflies. Record this information in the "K" section of the chart.

Spend some time exploring the Nic Bishop reader, Butterflies, as a whole group. If you are able to get enough copies, let the students explore the book on their own or in pairs. Bring the group back together and ask the students to share what they learned from the first books. Record some of their comments in the first "L" section of the chart.

Introduce Butterflies and Moths to the students. This book is also written by Nic Bishop but gives more detailed information on the topic. You can lead a read aloud with this book or let the students explore specific sections of it in pairs. Finish by giving each student (or paired group) a post-it note. Encourage them to write down their favorite fact from the day. Gives students a chance to share their fact with the class, then stick the post-it note in the second "L" section of the chart.



Vocabulary Words

  • Pupa
  • Nectar


Monarch Migration Tracking

Did you know that Monarch Butterflies can migrate up to 2,500 miles from here to the central mountains of Mexico and can live for many months after migration? This is all based on when the butterflies emerge and how much milkweed, the only food source for the Monarch Butterfly, is available. Have the students trace the typical migration routes of the Monarch Butterflies, identifying states and countries along the way. Discuss what happens to the butterflies during migration and chart the butterflies' frequent resting spots, known as roosting sites. Have the students create a migration bulletin board and track the pattern as if they were scientists tracking actual butterflies!

Grow Your Own Milkweed Plants

The milkweed plant is the only plant that Monarch Butterflies eat, but it is also a very popular food source for many other butterflies! Have your students plant seeds for their own milkweed plants in the fall, so that they will be ready to grow during the summer season! They can either plant these in a school garden or take them home to plant. This plant will attract not only Monarch Butterflies, but many other types of butterflies and caterpillars as well. Before planting, ask the students to research different butterflies and caterpillars that they might find on their plants and then report back to the class. Encourage students to keep an on-going scientific journal to track their hypotheses, to document any changes to their plants as they grow, and to record any butterflies or caterpillars they find on their plants. The students can take their plants home or, if possible, you can choose to turn this project into a class butterfly garden!


Journal Questions

  • Imagine you are a butterfly. Write about or draw a picture of how you would spend your day.
  • Write 3 facts that you learned about butterflies.

Extending Books

by Nic Bishop

With breathtaking full-page images, including a double-gatefold spread, Sibert-Honor photographer Nic Bishop introduces the beauty and diversity of lizards. The simple, engaging text presents both basic information and fun, quirky facts about the appearance, habits, and life cycle of these amazing reptiles.



by Nic Bishop

Nic Bishop's photographs show all different kinds of frogs, big ones, very tiny ones, frogs with beautiful colors of skin, and one frog you can even see inside of.




by Nic Bishop

Text and photographs introduce readers to different types of spiders and their behavior.