students will learn how to identify the butterflies or moths found in
their Illinois County by using the Lepidoptera database list to find
the scientific names, searching field guides and the Internet for (1)
the common name (2) description (3) life habits and (4) a photograph.
The findings can be published as a poster or bulletin board display.
Time Required: It varies by county, but one class period for
research (each student or pair assigned one or more), and one class
period to assemble display.
ISM Online Butterfly
and Moth Resources:
Illinois County checklist: http://www.museum.state.il.us/research/entomology/index.html
Photo by Dr. E.D. Cashatt
computer with internet connection; browser such as Google.com to search
for images to download to disk
Butterfly field guides
poster board (or half-sheets of construction paper if making a bulletin
- Find the listing for your county in the Lepidoptera database; print it
out or cut and paste it to notepad and print it.
- Assign students a species or variety to research on the Web and in field
guides. Students will bookmark their find (searched by scientific name);
they can print out the page. WARNING: Photographs
are copyrighted. Include the name of the photographer in the display or
image. Usually these digital and print images may be copied for educational
- Using the information in their source, students will write an informative
Description (size, color, markings, shape)
Status (common, rare, threatened, endangered)
- Students will compose a digital 'poster' in Photoshop and print it out,
or copy or print information out and cut and paste it on a posterboard or
sheet as part of a bulletin board display.
- Students will present the information verbally to the others in class,
so that everyone learns about all the butterflies and moths.
Bouseman, John K. and Sternburg, James G. Field Guide to Butterflies
of Illinois. Illinois Natural History Survey, 607 E. Peabody Dr., Champaign,
IL 61820. Order online at
l or email
order at firstname.lastname@example.org
US Geological Survey site on butterflies of Illinois (and other states)