A South Florida Butterfly Garden WebQuest
An Internet WebQuest on South Florida Butterfly Gardens
Created by Ada López-Isa, Ed.S
Introduction  |  Task   |  Process  |   Resources  |  Evaluation  |  Conclusion  |  Dictionaries  |  Lesson Plan    

Imagine you are a butterfly flying around looking for a new home. You land at our school. You like it here, but you are finding some major problems. Where will you live? What will you eat? How will you find water to drink? How will you convince your friends to join you and make their home here too? Then as you start to get used to your new surroundings, you face yet, another problem. Some students come up to you and ask you what you are. They have never seen anything like you before. How will you describe how you look and who you are? All of a sudden, you hear some other students saying they are going to make a butterfly garden on the school grounds. Wow- you will finally have a new home! and all the students will be able to learn all about you!


In this WebQuest, you will be working together with a group of 6 to 8 students in class. This is your WebQuest Team. Each Team will decide what kind of butterflies they would like to see in our school garden and what to do to attract certain kinds of butterflies. You will be completing different activities according to your grade level. To accomplish this task, you will be reading articles using the Internet, written by people all over the world. If you do not understand the meaning of a word, use the on-line dictionary to help you. You should also check out books from the library.

Part One: Background Information


Everyone in your group completes these activities. Make sure you visit the websites listed in the Resources section below to help you.
Grades K-2:  

Grades 3-5:

Part Two: In-Depth Study


1.Divide your WebQuest Team into groups of two to explore one of the jobs below.
2.Decide which group is going to work on which job.
3.Use the Internet (the websites listed on the Resources section) to complete your   work.
4.      You will keep a daily journal to reflect on your activities and findings.
5.      You and your partner will together write a one to two page report using Microsoft   Word or any other desktop publishing to show what you have learned. Include            photographs and/or  graphics on your paper. Remember to cite the websites you 
  gathered information, photographs and graphics from. 

Jobs for Grades K-2:

1.Find information on the life-cycle of a Monarch butterfly and of the Painted Lady
         Tell how they are alike and different by using a Venn Diagram.
2.Find what kinds of butterflies live in South Florida (pictures and names).                            How do butterflies arrive to South Florida? Why do they come to our area?
3.Find what plants attract butterflies. Write the names of three and draw them.
          How do butterflies use plants?


Jobs for Grades 3-5:

1.Find information on the habitat necessities of butterflies.
          What are adult food plants? What are host plants?
  Find information on species of butterflies specific to South Florida.
          How many species of butterflies are found in Florida? Name at least three species.
2.Find information on how to attract butterflies to a South Florida garden. 
          How will you select a site for the garden? What do you need to include in the                    garden? 
3.Find information on plants native to Florida.
          Do any of these plants attract butterflies?
4.Find and write the definition of the word ecosystem using the on-line dictionary. Go            to the website specific for ecosystems of Florida and write the names of two                      ecosystems found in South Florida.
Part Three:  Discussion and Consensus

Each WebQuest Team (groups of two) has been learning something different. Now it is time to get together to share and discuss what you have learned on your quest. You must all now answer the Task question as a group: How should we make our South Florida butterfly garden?  Some of you will agree and others will disagree.  Use the information gathered from the web pages you visited and the report you wrote to convince your other Team members that your point of view is important and should be included as part of  your Team’s answer to the question. After the discussion, your WebQuest Team will get together and work cooperatively to publish what you have learned by completing one of the following:

Part Four: Real World Experience

You and your Team members have learned a lot working on this WebQuest. Now is time to get together with the rest of the class and cooperatively design a South Florida butterfly garden for our school. You will be told the area where you can build it so you can measure it. You must figure out how many plants you will need for your area and the kinds of plants. Plan it all out and draw how you want it to look. Keep in mind all the things you learned. Your written plan and drawing will be presented to our school’s science committee. Who knows, maybe the design from your class will be chosen, so be creative!

THE TASK (Quest)

How should we make our school's South Florida butterfly garden?


You may use the following websites and web pages to complete your WebQuest:

General information on butterflies:

All about Butterflies                                                                                       
Butterfly Clip Art
Enchanted Learning Butterflies
Encyclopedia Britannica
The Butterfly Farm 
The Butterfly Website

 Information on butterflies of Florida:
Butterflies of Florida
Florida’s Butterflies
Florida Butterfly Species
The Zebra Longwing

Information on the Monarch Butterfly:

The Florida Monarch Butterfly Website
The Monarch Butterfly

Information on plants attracting butterflies:

Butterfly Host Plants
Butterfly Nectar Plant Families

Information on native plants of Florida:

Florida Native Plant Society
Florida Plants

Information on butterfly gardening:

Butterfly Gardening
Florida Butterfly Gardening
Native Butterfly Gardening
Non-plant Butterfly Lures

Information on Florida’s ecosystems:

Ecosystems of Florida


You and your partner must finish all tasks including the real world activity. You will be graded based on a rubric:  for grades K-2  or  for grades 3-5 
See your teacher for a copy of the rubric.


Congratulations! You finished your WebQuest! You now know how to make a South Florida butterfly garden. Your work for this quest is done, but your learning never stops. Why are there endangered butterflies? How can we prevent butterflies from becoming endangered?   What can we do to protect our environment?    


Butterfly Glossary
Merriam-Webster Online

butterfly coming out of chrysalis
butterfly out of chrysalis
The graphics on this page are courtesy of :

Jeff & Tracy's Butterflies
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