Watching the Pupa Stage of the Monarch Life Cycle

Yesterday one of my parents brought in a jar with two monarch butterflies in the pupa or the chrysalis stage. She told me that each year her mother collects the monarchs. The purpose is for others to get to watch these wonders of nature. This year, my students were able to watch this occur twice.

I showed each of my students what was held in the jar. I explained that the coloring of the chrysalis would darken right before the monarch hatched. This was an amazing thing for my students. We watched the jars yesterday but nothing happened.


Then today around lunch, the first one hatched. I held the jar to allow all of my students to see the monarch butterfly in the jar. We were still waiting on the other one. A few hours later, I opened the jar outside to see if the butterfly was ready to fly. It wasn’t. One of my students told me that it needed to hang up long enough for its wings to dry before it would be able to fly. (My students are so smart!) We placed the butterfly on a stick and inserted the other end of the stick in the ground. This allowed the butterfly to leave when it was ready.

The other one did, eventually, hatch. We were able to watch the entire process. This was such an exciting moment for my students. We really enjoyed these simple wonders of nature and will always be grateful that one of my parents brought it in the classroom to share.