Fragile Butterfly

Fragile Butterfly lesson plan

Show that you know butterfly anatomy—and line symmetry! Sculpt a clay butterfly that is fragile, beautiful, and realistic.

  • 1.

    Find out about butterfly life cycles and anatomy. Choose one species to make, or imagine your own colorful creature. Will your butterfly be flying, resting, or getting ready to take off? With Crayola® Air-Dry Clay, you can pose your butterfly any way you wish.

  • 2.

    On a clean, dry surface, use your fingers or a rolling pin to flatten a tangerine-size ball of clay. Cut out two identical wings with a safe tool such as a craft stick or clean yogurt cup lid.

  • 3.

    Roll a small piece of clay for the body. Lightly scratch the edges of where the wings and body will meet with a toothpick. Dampen areas with a slightly wet finger and press together. Use the same technique make and attach antennae and other body parts.

  • 4.

    If you like, embellish your butterfly with small bits of clay. Etch the wings with a toothpick. Add a second set of wings to make your butterfly look like it is flying. Smooth out any rough areas with a damp finger. Air-dry your butterfly for at least 48 hours.

  • 5.

    Cover your art table with newspaper. Carefully paint your butterfly with Crayola Tempera Paint and Brushes. Air-dry each color and rinse your brushes before changing to another color.

  • 6.

    Handle your butterfly sculptures with care! They are fragile just like real ones. Why not create a colorful science display for other classes in your school to enjoy?


  • Students learn the different parts and life cycle of butterflies.
  • Students make a replica of one of the thousands of types and colors of butterflies, or create an imaginary species.
  • Students’ sculptures reflect line symmetry (butterfly halves are mirror images) and are colorfully painted.


  • Talk about the various wing patterns and why butterflies are different colors. What other animals or insects have built-in camouflage?
  • Butterflies are found in many famous paintings. View Salvador Dali’s Paysage Au Papillions or Vincent van Gogh’s Butterflies and Poppies. Use these to inspire your own creativity.
  • Do you have a butterfly garden in your area? Visit it or observe butterflies in their natural habitats.
  • Assessment: Ask students to label and correctly spell butterfly body parts and life cycles. Determine that all major parts are represented accurately. Note the creative use of color in decorating the butterfly.