Life Cycle of a Butterfly


Have you ever wondered what are the different stages in the growth of the caterpillar from the story, 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar?' 

Today in this Web Quest you will learn about the Life Cycle of the Butterfly. Have fun and lets get started!!



Today will be an exciting day of learning. We are going to learn about the Life Cycle of the Butterfly. First, we are going on a nature walk to find any parts of the butterfly's cycle that we remembered from the story.

This quest will continue with an oral discussion in the classroom on what was observed during the nature walk. You will be asked general questions on the stages of the Life Cycle of the Butterfly and their specific order.

After which, you will be given materials such as: 

  • Paper plate
  • Scrap of green construction paper
  • Small, white pompoms
  • Tissue paper
  • Pipe cleaners 
  • Pencil
  • Black marker or crayon
  • Liquid glue
  • Scissors
  • Small twig from outside
  • Tempera paint 

to create your own Butterfly Life Cycle Paper Plate. This will be used as a guide to answer the questions in the evaluation section. 


After being introduced to the lesson. We will take some time and get on the computers to learn a little more about the stages of the Life Cycle of the Butterfly.

You will get on the computer and open the YouTube URL link on the Body's Five Senses and watch the video.

The activity will then end by teaching a song on the Life Cycle of the Butterfly. 

Students will then be engaged in a short puzzle game where they arrange the stages of the Life Cycle of the Butterfly in the correct order. 


The life cycle of the butterfly has 4 main stages. These stages are the eggs, the caterpillar, the pupa and the butterfly.


A butterfly starts life as a very small, round, oval or cylindrical egg.  The coolest thing about butterfly eggs, especially monarch butterfly eggs, is that if you look close enough you can actually see the tiny caterpillar growing inside of it. Some butterfly eggs may be round, some oval and some may be ribbed while others may have other features. The egg shape depends on the type of butterfly that laid the egg. 

Butterfly eggs are usually laid on the leaves of plants, so if you are actively searching for these very tiny eggs, you will have to take some time and examine quite a few leaves in order to find some. 

Learn about the Butterfly Life Cycle, about the Monarch's life, see Pictures and find Links to more articles.



When the egg hatches, the caterpillar will start his work and eat the leaf they were born onto. This is really important because the mother butterfly needs to lay her eggs on the type of leaf the caterpillar will eat – each caterpillar type likes only certain types of leaves. Since they are tiny and can not travel to a new plant, the caterpillar needs to hatch on the kind of leaf it wants to eat. 

Caterpillars need to eat and eat so they can grow quickly. When a caterpillar is born, they are extremely small. When they start eating, they instantly start growing and expanding.  Their exoskeleton (skin) does not stretch or grow, so they grow by “molting” (sheding the outgrown skin) several times while it grows. 

Butterfly Life Cycle: Article with Lots of Pictures



The pupa stage is one of the coolest stages of a butterfly’s life.  As soon as a caterpillar is done growing and they have reached their full length/weight, they form themselves into a pupa, also known as a chrysalis.  From the outside of the pupa, it looks as if the caterpillar may just be resting, but the inside is where all of the action is.  Inside of the pupa, the caterpillar is rapidly changing. 

Now, as most people know, caterpillars are short, stubby and have no wings at all.  Within the chrysalis the old body parts of the caterpillar are undergoing a remarkable transformation, called ‘metamorphosis,’ to become the beautiful parts that make up the butterfly that will emerge. Tissue, limbs and organs of a caterpillar have all been changed by the time the pupa is finished, and is now ready for the final stage of a butterfly’s life cycle.

Fun article explains the Butterfly Life Cycle, has LOTS of life cycle images and a coloring page too!



Finally, when the caterpillar has done all of its forming and changing inside the pupa, if you are lucky, you will get to see an adult butterfly emerge.  When the butterfly first emerges from the chrysalis, both of the wings are going to be soft and folded against its body. This is because the butterfly had to fit all its new parts inside of the pupa. 

As soon as the butterfly has rested after coming out of the chrysalis, it will pump blood into the wings in order to get them working and flapping – then they get to fly.  Usually within a three or four-hour period, the butterfly will master flying and will search for a mate in order to reproduce.  

When in the fourth and final stage of their lives, adult butterflies are constantly on the look out to reproduce and when a female lays their eggs on some leaves, the butterfly life cycle will start all over. 

Butterfly Life Cycle: Article with Lots of Pictures

Butterfly Song


The caterpillar comes from an egg

He crawls along on funny little legs

He's hunting and he's looking for the foods he loves

Like flowers and leaves on the trees above

He munches and he crunches all day long

Until he builds a chrysalis, his temporary home He finds a branch that he wants to hang from

Preparing himself for what he's going to become


Chorus: (Egg!) Life cycle (Larva!) of a butterfly (Pupa!) Life cycle (Imago!) of a butterfly

These are the stages a butterfly goes through

So think about it as he flutters near you


Now some people call the chrysalis a pupa

Inside of it the caterpillar turns into soup (HUH???)

Believe it or not, he becomes liquified

We couldn't make this up even if we tried

Inside the chrysalis where it's nice and warm

A brand new insect is beginning to form

When he breaks out of the chrysalis his wings start to dry

Now we call him an imago better known as butterfly


Chorus: (Egg!) Life cycle (Larva!) of a butterfly (Pupa!) Life cycle (Imago!) of a butterfly

These are the stages a butterfly goes through

So think about it as he flutters near you


(Repeat chorus)

These are the stages a butterfly goes through

So think about it as he flutters near you


Cut and paste the life cycle of the butterfly into the correct order. Write the steps, then write a few sentences about the life cycle of the butterfly. Individually, each child will be evaluated based on his or her  performance.

Image result for life cycle of butterfly worksheet for preschool


The butterfly consists of four main stages of its life cycle. These stages include the eggs, caterpillar, pupa/chrysalis and butterfly. Throughout this WebQuest you should have learnt these four main parts of the life cycle of a butterfly.

Congratulations, I do hope you enjoyed the activities. 



The butterfly site. Butterfly life cycle/butterfly metamorphosis. Retrieved from

YouTube Links

Teacher Page

This WebQuest included a lesson that described how the stages of the Life Cycle of the Butterfly can be taught. 


At the end of this WebQuest it is expected that teachers should be able to allow their students to learn how to:

1. Create a model to describe the life cycle of a butterfly

2. Utilize the reading material and video to understand and answer questions on the life cycle of a butterfly.

3. Participate willingly in class activities.