Skip to main content

Adventures with the Monarchs

Innovation in Teaching Competition: Amy Mock from Mason Elementary School

Grade Level

First Grade

Content Area/Instructional Strategy


In this integrated unit, first-graders learn English language arts, math, and science standards by exploring the monarch butterfly species and the basic needs of plants. Working collaboratively, students conduct research to understand the causes behind the dwindling monarch population and investigate ways to increase it. Using their research and ideas, students design a habitat to attract the monarchs and other pollinators. The unit culminates with students presenting their habitat designs to their classmates, parents and school community.

Standards Addressed

ELA.1.RI.1; ELA.1.RI.2; ELA.1.RI.7; ELA.1.SL.2; ELA.1.SL.5; ELA.1.W.2

About the Teacher

Amy Mock
Mason Elementary School

Amy holds a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Georgia State University. She was named 2008-2009 M.H. Mason Elementary School Teacher of the Year. In 2015, she was the recipient of a $15,000 grant to build a hydro/aquaponics lab, which is the first of its kind in Gwinnett county. She hopes that the lab will not only help students master science standards, but also produce healthy foods to donate to families in the community.