Early last fall, a teacher in southern Maine was looking for a monarch chrysalis for her annual study of the monarch butterfly life cycle and migration. The literacy coach at her school happened to mention to me that they couldn't find any in the school garden. I hadn't seen any in my garden all summer, either. Soon, we were curating stories of the disappearance of the monarch butterfly to share with the third grade students. From there, along with my Lesley colleague Erika Thulin Dawes, we developed a series of text sets on the challenges facing the monarch butterfly.
For any of you participating in the "Fizz Boom Read" science-focused summer reading program this year, teaching summer school or camp, or simply looking for great nonfiction books to share with elementary-aged children, please feel free to make use of this four-part text set, which Erika and I posted on our website: http://teachingwithtextsets.blogspot.com/p/monarch-text-setbibliography-frost-h.html. This text set begins with public radio stories in New England; I imagine wherever you are in North America, there's been a local story over the past year about the dwindling monarch population. If you have questions or wind up using these text sets, please let me know! They are ideal for use with 3rd-5th graders.