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This amazing story of Isabel helping her family is the perfect base for a unit study. Grab our Isabel’s House of Butterflies Unit Study and Lapbook and enjoy learning all about Mexico, monarch butterflies, and more!

Outside her home in Michoacan, Mexico, grows eight-year-old Isabel’s greatest treasure: an oyamel tree. Here, every autumn, a miracle happens-for Isabel’s tree is the wintering place for thousands upon thousands of monarch butterflies that migrate from the north.

When they flutter down to roost, they transform Isabel’s tree into The House of Butterflies. But this wonder is in danger of disappearing forever. Isabel’s family is poor, and it is a cruel, dry year for Papa’s meager crop of corn and beans. Soon, chopping down the tree to sell its wood may be the family’s only hope for survival. What will happen to the butterflies then?

Thanks to Jodi Small for writing the lessons for this Isabel’s House of Butterflies unit study.

Isabel’s House of Butterflies Unit Study Lessons

This unit study includes lessons and printables based on the book Isabel’s House of Butterflies by Tony Johnston.

Here are some sample lessons from the Isabel’s House of Butterflies Unit Study.

Geography: Mexico
Mexico is a large Spanish-speaking country in southern North America. Mexico’s capital city is Mexico City. It is one of the largest cities in the world, with a population of about 20 million people. Mexico’s climate varies from hot deserts, forests, tropical rainforests, and some chaparral (along the northwestern coastline). A chaparral is a shrubby coastal area that has hot dry summers and mild, cool, rainy winters. Mexico is divided into 32 states. You can discuss with your student various aspects of the Mexican culture (clothing, food, holidays, the language, etc.) The city of Michoacán is in the mountains of the Sierra Madre del Sur.

Science: Pigs
Isabel’s family raised pigs that they took to market to sell the meat. Pigs are omnivores; they eat both plants and meat. Pigs have large heads with a large snout. They have short legs and a short, curly tail. They do not have sweat glands, so in order to cool themselves, they lay in water or mud. They coat their skin in mud to use as a sunscreen.

Bacon, ham, pork and sausage come from pigs. Bacon is taken from the sides, belly or back of the pig. Arm, legs, or shoulders are used for ham. Lion, or the back, is used for bacon, roasts, or chops. The ribs are used for spare ribs.

The skins of the pig can be used for leather. The “pigskin” refers to a football made from leather made from pig’s skin.

You can grab a copy of the entire Isabel’s House of Butterflies Unit Study and Lapbook in an easy-to-print file at the end of this post.

Isabel’s House of Butterflies Lapbook Printables

In addition to the unit study lessons, the file also includes an Isabel’s House of Butterflies lapbook with these mini-books and printables:

  • Helping Others Simple Fold
  • I Would Like to Visit . . . Tab Book
  • This Little Piggy Flap Book
  • Drought Flap Book
  • Monarch Butterfly Diet Simple Fold
  • Monarch Butterfly Facts Butterfly Shape Printable
  • Life Cycle of the Monarch Flap Book
  • Monarch Migration Map
  • Simile Flap Book
  • Daytime Colors Simple Fold Book
  • Nighttime Colors Simple Fold Book
  • New Spanish Words Flap Book

Lapbook Example

This sample lapbook was made with two file folders. If you aren’t sure how to make a lapbook, check out this post.

Lapbook Made with Two File Folders
First File Folder (on the left)
Second File Folder (on the right)

How to Get Started with Your Isabel’s House of Butterflies Unit Study & Lapbook

Follow these simple instructions to get started with the Isabel’s House of Butterflies Unit Study and Lapbook:

  1. Buy a copy of the book, Isabel’s House of Butterflies, or borrow one from your local library.
  2. Print the Isabel’s House of Butterflies unit study.
  3. Choose the lessons you want to use with your student (a highlighter works great for this).
  4. Choose and prepare the lapbook printables you want to use with your student.
  5. Enjoy a week of learning all about Mexico, butterflies, and more!

Get Your Free Isabel’s House of Butterflies Unit Study & Lapbook

Simply click on the image below to access your free Isabel’s House of Butterflies Unit Study and Lapbook.

Isabel’s House of Butterflies
Unit Study & Lapbook

Related Resources

Pigs Lapbook
Mexico Lapbook
Butterfly Lapbook