Butterfly Wings & Symmetry

Butterflies are fascinating creatures, providing many opportunities for incorporating them into your science lessons. Students will enjoy learning how a butterfly begins as an egg, is hatched as a caterpillar, then transforms during the pupa stage into an adult butterfly! After exploring the life cycle of the butterfly, why not build on this concept by investigating the perfect symmetry of the butterfly's wings?

Don't shy away from this great lesson due to daunting vocabulary words, Janice VanCleave offers great insight into explaining mirror images, lines of symmetry, and congruent halves. After spending time looking at actual butterflies, help your students do some individual exploration.

Supplies You'll Need
- Construction paper
- Crayola markers
- Kids craft scissors
- Craft paint Instruct your students to fold their piece of craft paper in half; folding it "hot dog" style will give you a tall butterfly and folding it "hamburger" style will give you wider wings. Invite them to draw the wing of a butterfly on one side if the crease, then use scissors to cut along the line. REMINDER: Do not cut along the fold!

Once cut, you should be able to open the paper to reveal a butterfly. For further practice with symmetry, use tempera paint to place dots of color on one side of the crease. When finished with the wing design, carefully fold the other wing over and press onto the paint. Upon opening, you'll have created a perfectly symmetrical butterfly!

Symmetry: Butterfly Wings | Science Project Ideas for Kids