I teach a 5-6 multi-age, self contained class of urban students. It is such fun to introduce them to Monarchs! We do all the science observation journals, measuring larva, etc. Alternate years focus on life cycle/environmental however some degree of both are touched on each year. I use Monarch Watch and Journey North, books, etc. to put together a unit of study which also includes some reading and expository writing. I have found that when Monarchs are the topic for the expository essay they often write their very best. It can serve as both writing and science assessments. We also include a puppet play(alternate years) and symbolic butterflies to Mexico. And this year my student teacher is learning all about them....she was so excited to see a caterpillar turn into a chrysalis the other day!