Children love to learn about animal life cycles. Grab these butterfly life cycle worksheets and your child will develop their writing skills at the same time.
Last week I got the best text message from one of my tutor student’s mom:
“He can’t wait until tutoring next week so he can write more about life cycles! He’s never said that before about writing!”
Children love to learn about animals. There is something about life cycles that can get even the most reluctant reader and writer to excited about learning.
The butterfly life cycle is especially engaging to children. There is the way it makes something so dramatic and magical tangible. How can a tiny egg turn into a beautiful butterfly?!
In this blog post, you’ll learn about the butterfly life cycle and how you can leverage it to get your child reading and writing. You’ll also find a free printable butterfly life cycle worksheet to use at home with your children.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links; read more here.
What is the life cycle of a butterfly?
The butterfly life cycle worksheets explain the life cycle to your child. This is the life cycle of a butterfly:
- Stage 1: eggs on a leaf
- Stage 2: the caterpillars grow
- Stage 3: caterpillars form a chrysalis
- Stage 4: a butterfly emerges from the chrysalis
- Stage 5: an adult butterfly can fly away
Stage 1: eggs on a leaf
In the first stage of the butterfly life cycle, a butterfly lays eggs on a leaf.
Stage 2: growing caterpillars
Soon those eggs hatch. Little caterpillars emerge. They eat leaves and grow into big caterpillars.
Stage 3: caterpillars form a chrysalis
Once the caterpillars have eaten enough, they form a cocoon called a chrysalis around themselves. In this chrysalis, the butterfly experiences a metamorphosis.
Stage 4: the butterfly emerges
The chrysalis breaks open after several days and an adult butterfly starts to emerge. Its wings need some time to harden and stretch open so it can fly. The butterfly eats nectar from fruit or flowers.
Stage 5: the adult butterfly can fly away
Once its wings are hardened, the adult butterfly is fully formed. It can fly away from its empty chrysalis.
How do you explain the life cycle of a butterfly?
Besides using life cycle worksheets, there are other interactive ways to explain the life cycle of a butterfly. With my children, we:
- read books
- grow butterflies from caterpillars
- play with life cycle figurines
The book From Caterpillar to Butterfly is our favorite butterfly life cycle book. It is simple and thorough at the same time!
Other great books are:
We have used the Insect Lore Butterfly Garden kit to observe the butterfly life cycle twice. It makes learning the life cycle so concrete for children.
A container of caterpillars arrives in the mail in a small cup. You place them somewhere safe for your children to observe them.
After several days, they will form chrysalises on the lid of the cup. You transfer into the butterfly habitat and wait for the butterflies to start to emerge.
Your children can feed the butterflies fruit or flowers with nectar. After a few days, you release them. It’s a really special experience.
One cool thing about this kit is that you can reuse it and just reorder caterpillars in the future.
Use Life Cycle Figurines
We love these life cycle figurines. They make learning the life cycle extremely hands-on.
You can put them in a sensory bin, match them to the butterfly life cycle worksheet, or just play with them
Life Cycle of a Butterfly Cut and Paste Worksheet
Your child can learn the life cycle of a butterfly with a simple cut and paste worksheet.
Supplies for Life Cycle of a Butterfly Cut and Paste Worksheet
You probably already have all the supplies you need for the life cycle cut and paste worksheet:
- markers or crayons
Using the Life Cycle Cut and Paste Worksheet
It’s very easy to use this simple butterfly life cycle printable pdf:
- Print the printable.
- Color the pictures.
- Cut the pictures.
- Place in order.
- Glue them down.
Free Butterfly Life Cycle Worksheets
This worksheet is a free gift for email subscribers. It’s a free download you can grab by entering your information in the boxes below.
It is for your personal home use or one individual classroom use only. Please do not share it anywhere online or distribute it any other way.
This butterfly life cycle worksheet pdf is simple. Your children will just color it in as you name and describe the stages for them.
Butterfly Life Cycle Printable Mini-book
This butterfly life cycle printable book is perfect for reading comprehension. The eight half-page booklet helps beginning readers understand the butterfly life cycle.
Some of the butterfly life cycle vocabulary will not be decodable (easy to sound out) for your young readers. So make sure you read it together.
Using the Butterfly Life Cycle Printable Booklet
- Print it out.
- Show your child how to order the pages.
- Staple it in order.
- Allow your child to color the pictures.
- Read the story together.
Please note there is another version of this booklet included in the printable pack that makes it easier for teachers to photocopy and distribute to their classes.
Butterfly Life Cycle Differentiated Writing Worksheets
Regardless of the ages of your young learners, there is a butterfly life cycle writing worksheets that are perfect for them.
Butterfly Writing Worksheets:
- Level 1: Learners will draw a picture of the four life cycle stages.
- Level 2: Learners will write a sentence for four life cycle stages based on picture prompts.
- Level 3: Learners will write a sentence for five life cycle stages based on picture prompts.
- Level 4: Learners will use a word bank to generate a paragraph about the butterfly life cycle.
Butterfly Life Cycle Sequence Writing Worksheets
Children who are beginning to write sentences can complete these scaffolded writing worksheets.
Using transition words helps learners begin to write sequence paragraphs. Transition words can include
- After that
Butterfly Life Cycle Paragraph Writing Prompt
If your child is ready to write multiple sentences, check out the butterfly life cycle paragraph writing prompt.
It makes paragraph writing easier:
- The word bank helps your child generate ideas.
- The checklist supports editing.
Some children will do best if you allow them to draw the picture first. It doesn’t need to be saved for a reward; drawing first helps many children decide what to write.
Butterfly Life Cycle Printables
You can grab a complete set of life cycle printables. It has everything you need to teach your child about the butterfly’s life cycle.
This set includes:
- full-color matching activity
- an 8-page mini-book
- 3 life cycle worksheets
- 2 vocabulary worksheets
- 6 vocabulary picture word cards
- 4 writing worksheets