Teaching Life Science with Children’s Literature: Waiting for Wings


 Introduction and Summary

Waiting for Wings, written and illustrated by Lois Ehlert, is a wonderful book for young learners that explains the life cycle of a butterfly.  With beautiful illustrations and simple explanations, Waiting for Wings is a great teacher’s resource for teaching life cycles.  We can see the butterfly start as a tiny egg, then turn into larvae, then spin into a chrysalis and finally we see the beautiful butterfly emerge.  Vivid illustrations of flowers and butterflies are in the book as well as an identification guide for students to find examples of flowers and butterflies outdoors.

Curriculum Connection

Waiting for Wings is a great resource to use for a kindergarten or first grade lesson on life cycles.  The bright illustrations are wonderful for young elementary learners.  The identification guide in the back would be great to use in a hands-on activity.  Students could go outside and identify butterflies and flowers that may be around the school yard.  (Virginia SOL K.7)

Additional Resources

  • Butterfly Unit  – Great unit on butterflies with science activities, songs, poetry, art activities, math activities and language arts activities.
  • Life Cycle of a Butterfly Booklet – Small booklet for children to cut out and label each stage of butterfly life cycle.  They can then put the pages in order and make a small booklet to keep.

General Information

Book:  Waiting for Wings
Lois Ehlert
  Lois Ehlert
  Harcourt Books
Publication Date:
Grade Range:

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