My Animal Friends

Students follow the story of Timor, a “bug enthusiast”, who rescues a monarch caterpillar from his backyard and takes it to school to try to save it.

Unit Overview

Through readings, activities and discussions, students follow the story of Timor, a “bug enthusiast”, who rescues a monarch caterpillar from his backyard and takes it to school to try to save it. Students will consider the environmental impact of pesticides and habitat loss on pollinators and learn what they can do to help protect and increase the population of monarch butterflies.


  • Kindergarten
  • Grade 1
  • Grade 2

Lesson Type

In-class or online lesson, PBL activity

Environmental Topics

Biodiversity, Ecosystems, Environmental Justice, Green Guardianship, Sustainable Human Development

Environmental Literacy Core Principles

For a summary of the environmental literacy principles and concepts embedded in this lesson series, please visit Green Guardians Environmental Literacy Core Principles.


ELA: RL.K.1, RL.K.2, SL.K.1, SL.K.2, SL.K.3, SL.K.5, SL.K.6, W.K.2, W.K.7, RL.1.1, RL.1.2, SL.1.1, SL.1.2, SL.1.3, SL.1.5, SL.1.6, L.1.4, L.1.5, W.1.2, W.1.8, RL.2.1, RL.2.3, RL.2.7, W.2.2, W.2.8, SL.2.1, SL.2.2, SL.2.3, SL.2.5, SL.2.6
Math: K.CC.A.1, K.CC.A.3, K.CC.B.4, K.CC.B.5, K.OA.A.2, 1.OA.C.5, 1.OA.C.6, 2.OA.A.1, 2.OA.B.2
Science: K-LS1-1, 1-LS1-2, 2-LS2-2, K-ESS3-1, K-ESS3-3


Teacher Guide

This project may easily be extended into optional family discussions and activities around monarch butterflies and other pollinating insects (like bees) and the challenges facing them. To facilitate this engagement, a family guide (in English and Spanish) has been created which teachers may choose to forward to interested parents and guardians.

Family Guide (English)

Family Guide (Spanish)


Three lessons of 30-40 minutes each and an optional project.

Lesson 1: Timor and the Caterpillar

Through a story and related activities, students discuss the characteristics of monarch butterflies and define life cycle. They observe the metamorphosis of caterpillar to butterfly and learn what monarch butterflies need to live.

Lesson 2: Butterfly Research

Through a story and related activities, students learn about pollination and the interdependency of living things. They learn of the dangers facing monarchs today, especially weedkiller and bug spray. They begin to think of ways they can help save monarch butterflies.

Lesson Materials

Lesson 3: Help My Animal Friend

Through a story and related activities, students pose questions along with the characters about monarch butterfly waystations and discuss how they can put one on their school grounds.

Lesson Materials

Project: Our Butterfly Waystation

In this project, students will design and plant a monarch butterfly waystation and make a plan to manage it.

Lesson Materials

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