Migration and Common Core/NGSS

Connecting the monarch migration to Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards

The monarch migration sparks awe and wonder in people of all ages. Teachers all across North America incorporate the migration into their classroom in numerous ways. Our friends at Journey North have incredible, real-time maps that allow you to follow the migration. Using data submitted by citizen scientists, like you, the maps document first sightings of monarchs (adults, eggs and larvae) as well as the first milkweed shoots to emerge in the spring. Easily report your observations and use these resources to participate in the migration, no matter where you are!

Direct links to the Journey North resources to incorporate into your lessons:

Spring Migration Map Archives

Data Recording Handouts

Weather Data Archives (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

Ideas for Connecting the Migration to Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards
Content AreaLesson IdeaPotential Standard Addressed

-Use archived migration maps to compare numbers/data over the course of two or more years (to compare the exact date across years, select a date in the upper left part of the map)

-Analyze the correlation between weather, milkweeds and monarchs

-Create graphs using data and your projections

Common Core:

K-5: Measurement and Data ---> Represent and Interpret Data

6-12: Statistics and Probability

Language Arts


-Use maps to draw conclusions and make predictions

-Analyze data from maps; brainstorm contributing factors to the migration

-Compare and contrast data from various years


-Research the monarch life cycle and migration and.... 1. become a migrating monarch and write a story about your journey, including researched facts (ex. geographic region of migration, life cycle and life expectancy of each generation, hazards along the way); 2. present your research in a creative way (ex. movie, video game, prezi, powerpoint, poster, art project, etc.)

Common Core:

Reading K-12: Informational Text ---> Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

Writing K-12: Research to Build and Present Knowledge


-Construct a model to show the relationship between certain plants and animals

-Review map data and construct an argument with evidence why monarchs success rate differs by geographical region

-Explain how patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems can be predicted

-Research how human behavior impacts monarch migration, comparing and contrasting individual vs. group behavior

-Analyze the data from archived maps and pose your own research questions


K-12: Life Science ---> Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems

Social Studies

-Follow the migration route and research places along the route (ex. geography, climate, culture, demographics, amount of protected land, etc.)

-Research the levels of endangered species and hold a debate to argue the potential listing of monarchs as a threatened or endangered species

-Brainstorm all possible roles involved with monarch conservation, and have students take on a role to research and become