Why Are Butterfly Wings Colorful?

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Why are butterflies colored the way they are? What might happen if the colors of a native species were changed? This DataNugget asks students to investigate data collected by researchers, and to draw conclusions based on their findings. Videos from the actual experiments are included, as well as links to the primary research papers it’s based on.


This resource is from DataNuggets, a fantastic series of lesson plans that are based on real-world research! Each Data Nugget comes with three student versions, based on the type of graphing skills required. Type A activities provide the graph for the students (allowing a focus on graph interpretation, making claims based on evidence, and explaining reasoning), Type B activities provide axis labels but require students to graph the data, and Type C provides an unlabeled grid on which to draw a graph.

This lesson is available in Spanish!

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NGSS STEM Practices

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1 review for Why Are Butterfly Wings Colorful?

  1. LessonHiveAdmin

    Data Nuggets are free classroom activities, co-designed by scientists and teachers, designed to bring contemporary research and authentic data into the classroom. Data Nuggets include a connection to the scientist behind the data and the true story of their research. Each activity gives students practice working with “messy data” and interpreting quantitative information. Students are guided through the entire process of science, including identifying hypotheses and predictions, visualizing and interpreting data, making evidence based claims, and asking their own questions for future research. We strongly recommend them!

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