Butterfly Life Cycle Optical Illusion

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This activity is a fun way to show two stages in a Monarch butterfly's life cycle. Learners will create an optical illusion that can be flipped from caterpillar to butterfly. This is an activity from the Monarchs in the Classroom curriculum guide, which has science and art activities related to the life cycle and ecology of Monarch butterflies.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 8

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • black construction paper
  • caterpillar pattern
  • butterfly pattern
  • colored pencils
  • scissors
  • glue


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Animals
    • Human Senses and Perception
      • Vision

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Funding Sources:

  • Unisys
  • Science Learning Network
  • National Science Foundation