Monarch Mystic Migration

(1 review)


Students investigate the mystery of how monarchs find their way to Mexico each year. Students will explore a hypothesis that scientists use to ponder this mystery. Learning how the earth’s magnetic pull plays a part in monarch navigation, by exploring and creating compasses with magnets. This lesson includes strategies for diverse learners (ELLs). The teacher notes include NGSS, State, Language, and Social Science standards.


If you want to know some technical details, here is the research paper that described monarch magnetic migration.

FYI: The link in the materials to the NASA magnet exercise is broken; here is the correct link:

Here is the corrected link to Journey North for monarch distribution maps:

Additional information

Grade Level

NGSS STEM Practices

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Resource Type

Standards Present


Media Format

PDF Download, Text/Web Page

Creation Date


Reviews (1)

1 review for Monarch Mystic Migration

  1. LessonHiveAdmin

    This resource is a little dated — some of the links are broken, as noted above. But it’s a really nice way of incorporating mapping, magnets, and butterflies, so we kept it in the database. With new data pulled from the Journey North maps, this can be easily updated.

    We like that there are clear KWL maps, as well as scaffolding, vocabulary, and experimental components. The role of magnetism in monarch migration is a bit more complex than just magnets, but this is a grade appropriate simplification. (Likely a combo of sun compass + magnetics; see here.)

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