Lupine and Butterflies

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In this two-part activity about the connection between the lupine plant and butterflies, learners first read "Miss Rumphius," a storybook about lupine by Barbara Cooney. Then learners plant their own seeds that can be transplanted into the wild. Learners discuss what plants need to grow. Next, learners review the butterfly life cycle and create a butterfly puppet that emerges from a pupa. Educators can also use this activity to introduce learners to endangered species (the Karner Blue butterfly is endangered in Wisconsin because of the decreased lupine population).

Quick Guide

  • Preparation Time: Under 5 minutes
  • Learning Time: 45 to 60 minutes
  • Estimated materials cost: Over $20 per group of students
  • Age Range: Ages 8 - 11
  • Language: English

Materials List (per group of students)

  • Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
  • Lupine seeds
  • Peat pots
  • Soil
  • Warm water in a pouring container
  • Toilet paper tubes
  • Markers
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Construction paper
  • Tissue paper
  • Scissors
  • Pencils
  • Glue

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Gardening
  • Literature
  • Model Building
  • Nature and Environment
  • Outdoor Activity
  • Transportation


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
      • Animals
      • Biodiversity
    • Ecology
      • Ecosystems
      • Populations
      • Biodiversity
Place and Time

To use this activity learners need to

  • see
  • hear
  • touch

Learning styles supported

  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities
Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:


Paula Rogers Huff


All Rights Reserved, Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System, ©2005



Deborah Lee Rose
Miss Rumphius, environmental connection

Barbara Cooney's picture book, Miss Rumphius, is an absolutely inspiring story to share with young learners, about how even small efforts by one person can help the environment and make Earth a better place to live. By highlighting the connection between plant and animal species, this activity broadens learners' understanding of how fragile ecosystems can become when one component it threatened.