De Minnesota a Michoacán: La migración de las Mariposas Monarca

Submitted by Jennifer Christiansen

Language: Spanish
Unit Cultural Theme or
Academic Content Area:

Science, Social Studies

Target Audience:

Immersion Elementary
Grade: 4

Proficiency Level:

Intermediate Mid



1.1, 1.2, 1.3



3.1, 3.2





Unit Timeframe:

4-5 weeks

Unit Overview:

Students will learn about the migration of monarch butterflies. During the year they will access the Journey North web site in order to read updates and map monarch locations and progress. They will prepare symbolic monarchs and messages to send to school children in Mexico in the beginning of October. In pairs students will use Hyperstudio or Appleworks to create a virtual diary/slide show which tells the story of a migrating monarch.


The students in fourth grade study Minnesota history and geography and learn other basic information about their state, including the state symbols. Given that the monarch is one of the more recent additions, this unit will go more in depth into the fact that monarchs do not make their home here year round, but rather they migrate between Minnesota and Mexico, in particular Michoacán. In first grade, the students had an introduction to insects and studied basic biology and facts about butterflies. This particular unit will not focus on the life cycle of the caterpillar and monarch as much as on the migration.

During the first few weeks of school the students will raise and observe monarch larvae as they form their chrysalis and then emerge as an adult. We will tag the monarchs and send them on their way to Mexico. There will be opportunity for a review of monarch basics through readings and activities integrated into Spanish and English language arts.

General Unit References and Resources:

Journey North: A Global Study of Wildlife Migration. Retrieved March 2, 2003, (1999)

Mariposas del Norte y del Sur. Retrieved Mar. 02, 2003, from Virtual Museum Canada:

Monarca "La Leyenda" (2000) [Video tape], Mexico City.

Monarch Lab: Exploring Monarch Butterfly Biology. Retrieved March 2, 2003, from University of Minnesota:

Monarch Watch. Retrieved March 2, 2003, from University of Kansas:

(1997-1998) Monarchs and Migration. Retrieved Mar. 02, 2003, from Science Museum of Minnesota / Science Learning Network:

Oberhauser, K., Missrie, M., Redón Salinas, E., & García Serrano, E. (2003). La Mariposa Monarca: Uniendo un Continente. St. Paul, MN: Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary Foundation.

Oberhauser, K., & Goehring, L. (1997). Monarchs in the Classroom. St. Paul, MN: Monarchs in the Classroom.

Ortiz Monasterio, Fernando P. & Ortiz Monasterio Garza, Valentina. (1984). Mariposa Monarca: Vuelo de Papel. Mexico City:

La Brújula. Pettersson, Aline. (1999). Ontario, la Mariposa Viajera. Mexico City: Alfaguara.

Ruvalcaba, Carlos. (2000). La Mariposa Bailarina. Miami: Santillana.

Links or files for unit content:     A new window will open for each lesson.

Lesson 01: Sobreviviendo el Invierno
Lesson 02 La Magia de la Migración
Lesson 03 La Mariposa Bailarina
Lesson 04 ¿Quién tiene el mapa?
Lesson 05 Making Symbolic Monarchs
Unit Assessment