MonarchLIVE - A Distance Learning Adventure

School children throughout the Western Hemisphere are getting up close and personal to the annual migration cycle of the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus), one of the most spectacular events in the insect world, when millions of delicate but hardy monarchs migrate thousands of miles from Canada and the United States to overwinter in just 12 mountain peaks in Michoacán, Mexico. Through MonarchLIVE—A Distance Learning Adventure the children experience the magic of monarchs and their migration through a series of live, interactive, web-based broadcasts and a rich website. The students learn about monarch life history, citizen science, and what they can do to help monarchs.

Through live broadcasts, students meet the Chief of the Forest Service Abigail Kimbell, experience monarchs in their wintering forests in Michoacan, meet local Mexican villagers working to sustain the monarch forests, and meet kids in Chicago and Minneapolis who are making a difference for monarchs in their own backyards. Some students are creating pollinator gardens in their schoolyards through funding from PLT GreenWorks grants, which the MonarchLIVE project also supports.

Kids in grades 4 through 8 are the core audience for the project, which is available free to classrooms and which provides resources in both English and Spanish. It also provides a wide range of extensions that will support both younger and older students’ participation.

MonarchLIVE is a project of Forest Service-International Programs, Forest Service-Conservation Education, National Forest Systems, Prince William Network, Project Learning Tree, and a host of agency and nongovernmental organization partners.