Resources for Teaching Languages to Children


Resources for Teaching about Mariposas in Your Spanish Classroom!

I MUST CONFESS, I love butterflies! Delicate, beautiful, magical... they are endlessly inspiring! And, my students think so, too, which means higher motivation and greater engagement in this theme. I also love the fact that we are talking about science in Spanish class; nothing like interdisciplinary activities to deepen learning.

IN MY SECOND GRADE CLASSES, my students learn the life cycle of a butterfly, use colors and size vocabulary to describe a variety of photos of each life stage, follow the Monarch migration, and write simple descriptions in Spanish about a life stage of their choice, among other activities. I've gathered together a bunch of resources to incorporate butterflies into your elementary Spanish classroom- make your class fun, engaging and motivating!

*JOURNEY NORTH- it's amazing, this site! Coming straight from the Monarch Sanctuary in México, this site features videos and pictures from the sanctuary as well as the life cycle of a butterfly, stories and information about the children who live near the sanctuary (including some wonderful cultural information), weekly tracking of the Monarch Butterfly migration in both the fall and spring, and the opportunity to participate in their Symbolic Migration. (They also track Ruby-throated hummingbirds to México and Central America!)

*POCOYÓ- This adorable cartoon from Spain is great as a cultural component (Pocoyó is insanely popular!) and has two cartoons which incorporate butterflies. They are ¡Shhhh! (shown above) and 'El amigo comilón'

I love to show these videos and have my students pick out vocabulary that they know. In '¡Shhh!' one activity I do is have my students count how many times 'mariposa' is said.. a simple way to reinforce listening and counting skills.

*MAKE PAPER BUTTERFLIES- There are endless ways to bring crafts into this theme! Team up with the art teacher to do butterfly paintings (kids could then label the colors in Spanish that they used), use tissue paper and a pipe cleaner to make a simple butterfly, or indulge in a slightly more involved craft. Giving instructions in Spanish is a great way to develop listening skills, reinforce classroom materials vocabulary, and engage those learners who do best by making things. Here are some cute ways to make paper mariposas.

and Kid World Citizen has these wonderful instructions for making Blue Morpho Butterflies:

Blue Morpho Butterfly Craft by Kid World Citizen
 *TEACH THE LIFE CYCLE OF A BUTTERFLY: No butterfly theme is complete without teaching the stages in the life cycle of a butterfly! Kiddos are very familiar with these stages and are fascinated by them! Here are a couple of wonderful resources:
¡Sorpresa en el Jardín de la Tía'

*Award-winning author Ana Morris has written a lovely book telling the story of a little girl who discovers a caterpillar in the garden and watches it as it transforms into a butterfly after creating a chyrsalis...'¡Sorpresa en el Jardín de la Tía' is a heartwarming story with lots of high frequency vocabulary and gorgeous illustrations. It is available on Amazon.

'Mariposas' Activity Pack
 *'Mariposas' Activity Pack features our printable minibook 'Pepita y la mariposa' along with picture cards, games and activities to teach and reinforce vocabulary around the life cycle of a butterfly. We've also included activity pages and an authentic poem to add culture to your theme. The minibook can be taken home to share with families- a great home school connection!

*Fun for Spanish Teachers has several great resources. Life Cycle of the Butterfly Flashcards & SONG not only provides cute flashcards but also a song to sing with your students. What a great way to incorporate music into your class! And, don't miss her original story 'La oruga comelona' on her blog! It's a twist on 'La oruga muy hambrienta' by Eric Carle in which the caterpillar goes on a trip around Spanish speaking countries, eating authentic food- what a neat, creative way to bring culture into the story! And, be sure to get her free 'Mariposa ¿dónde estás?' game! A fun way to reinforce colors.

*FOLLOW THE MONARCH SANCTUARY ON FACEBOOK- El Santuario de la Mariposa Monarca en Rosario maintains a Facebook page, a good place to glean additional information about the happenings at the sanctuary!


*AND DON'T FORGET TO MAKE A BUTTERFLY GARDEN in your yard or in your school garden! Monarch Watch has wonderful tips for what types of plants and flowers are best for our butterfly friends, including monarchs! Team up with your school garden coordinator to plant some of these at your school, then do a butterfly sighting activity of your own- take kiddos outside during class and have them record how many butterflies they see and of what color. Come back in and graph their findings- all in Spanish!


  1. Darling butterfly lesson with bilingual resources, Julie! Glad to be included!

    1. Thank you so much, Ana! I am thrilled to have your book be part of this post! -Julie

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