Shared Writing and Art: Wildflower Seed Planting Instructions and Butterfly Drawings | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA G2:M4:U3:L4

Shared Writing and Art: Wildflower Seed Planting Instructions and Butterfly Drawings

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These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson: 

  • W.2.8: Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
  • SL.2.1: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
  • SL.2.1a: Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., gaining the floor in respectful ways, listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).
  • SL.2.1b: Build on others' talk in conversations by linking their comments to the remarks of others.
  • SL.2.6: With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.
  • L.2.1: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
  • L.2.1c: Use reflexive pronouns (e.g., myself, ourselves).
  • L.2.2: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
  • L.2.2a: Capitalize holidays, product names, and geographic names.

Daily Learning Targets

  • I can contribute to shared writing of instructions to plant wildflower seeds. (W.2.8, SL.2.1a, SL.2.1b)
  • I can analyze a model and discuss implications for drafting realistic patterns in my butterfly drawing. (SL.2.1b)
  • I can write and share a reflection on my learning with others. (W.2.8, L.2.1c, SL.2.1, SL.2.6)

Ongoing Assessment

  • During the Closing, use the Speaking and Listening Checklist to assess student progress toward SL.2.1a, SL.2.1b, and SL.2.6 (for the Unit 3 Assessment) for students who do not require additional practice time to meet these standards (see Assessment Overview and Resources).


AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Capitalization in Letter Writing: Amanda's Letter (5 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Shared Writing: Wildflower Seed Planting Instructions (20 minutes)

B. Scientific Drawing: Adding Realistic Patterns to Butterfly Drawings (20 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Reflecting on Learning (15 minutes)

Purpose of lesson and alignment to standards:

  • In this lesson, students continue working on components of their wildflower seed packets through the shared writing of wildflower seed planting instructions. Students use knowledge about plant survival needs learned during Module 3 to co-create simple planting instructions. Because the Unit 3 Assessment focuses on Speaking and Listening standards rather than writing, students' written work will not be formally assessed. Recall that shared writing allows all students to share their ideas and contribute to a successful product.
  • During Work Time B, students continue drafting their butterfly drawings by adding realistic patterns based on observation of butterfly images. Provide two or three photocopies of students' revised butterfly drawings from Lesson 3 so that students can efficiently work on multiple drafts of their patterns without needing to redraw their butterfly first. Working across three lessons to draft, revise, and complete their drawings helps students achieve a higher level of quality in their artwork.
  • During the Closing, students share their reflection on work and learning with a peer as preparation for the Unit 3 Assessment: Presentation and Reflection on Work and Learning (see Ongoing Assessment).

How this lesson builds on previous work:

  • Students apply scientific drawing and note-taking skills from Module 3 to produce components of the Performance Task: Wildflower Seed Packets.

Areas in which students may need additional support:

  • For students who are unable to complete the patterns for their butterfly drawing during this lesson, consider the use of flex time in Lessons 5, 6, and 7 for students to finish adding accurate patterns to their drawing.

Down the road:

  • In Lesson 5, students will add realistic color to their butterfly drawings. Make two or three photocopies of each student's drawing that has been revised for accurate pattern. These copies will allow students to create multiple drafts using realistic color without having to redraw their butterfly shape and pattern.
  • The wildflower seed planting instructions written during Work Time A will be added to all students' seed packets during Lesson 8. It is important that the planting instructions meet the needs of the specific seed mixture being used by your class. Depending on the seeds purchased by the teacher, the planting instructions on the seed mixture may differ from the examples provided in the supporting materials of this lesson. Refer to the planting instructions on your specific seed mixture to ensure the class planting instructions are written accurately.
  • After the lesson, type the shared planting instructions into a text box that is 4.5" wide by 2.5" tall, adjusting the font size to fit. Students will use these printed planting instructions when they assemble their wildflower seed packets during Lesson 8.

In Advance

  • Preview the sample wildflower seed planting instructions and adapt them, as needed, to fit the specific planting instructions for the seeds being used in your class (see supporting materials).
  • Pre-distribute materials for Work Time B at student workspaces.
  • Post: Learning targets and all applicable anchor charts (see materials list).

Tech and Multimedia

Consider using an interactive white board or document camera to display lesson materials.

  • Continue to use the technology tools recommended throughout Modules 1-3 to create anchor charts to share with families; to record students as they participate in discussions and protocols to review with students later and to share with families; and for students to listen to and annotate text, record ideas on note-catchers, and word-process writing.

Supporting English Language Learners

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standard 2.I.A.1

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs with the opportunity to notice the capitalization of proper nouns and to edit a letter for accurate capitalization.
  • ELLs may find it challenging to respond to the reflection questions in the Closing, because some of the concepts expressed in the prompts may seem abstract. Consider introducing the reflection questions at the beginning of the lesson and intermittently reminding students to think about them as they are working, rephrasing the prompts to ensure comprehension. This will prepare them to more successfully complete their Butterfly Drawing Reflection #3. (Example: "As you are working on your drawings, what skills are you using? Are they challenging to use? Think about what you might write in your reflections.")

Levels of support

For lighter support

  • During Work Time A, challenge students to use transitional words and phrases in the wildflower seed planting instructions (e.g., first, next, last, finally).

For heavier support

  • During the Closing, consider working closely with a small group of students who may have trouble articulating and writing their reflections. Guide them through each question, and use the Scientific Drawing anchor chart to suggest a skill that may have been challenging to reflect on and write about.

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation (MMR): Before students begin each activity, continue to support information processing by offering explicit prompts for each step students will complete, and invite students to verbally restate the steps they will follow.
  • Multiple Means of Action and Expression (MMAE): Continue to support students in monitoring their own progress by asking questions that guide self-monitoring and reflection during each learning activity.
  • Multiple Means of Engagement (MME): Continue to remind students of the goal for the work they are doing with their wildflower seed packets. Returning to the learning goals lifts up their value and relevance to students.


Key: Lesson-Specific Vocabulary (L); Text-Specific Vocabulary (T); Vocabulary Used in Writing (W)


  • accurate, pattern (L)


  • Amanda's letter (from Lesson 1; one to display)
  • Wildflower Seed Packet: Bee Model (from Lesson 1; one to display)
  • Sample wildflower seed planting instructions (one to display)
  • Austin's Butterfly Draft #1 (from Lesson 3; one to display)
  • Austin's Butterfly Draft #4 (one to display)
  • Wildflower Seed Packet Criteria Checklist (from Lesson 2; one to display)
  • Austin's Butterfly Draft #5 (one to display)
  • Monarch butterfly photograph (from Lesson 2; one per pair and one to display)
  • Butterfly drawings (from Lesson 3; two or three copies per student)
  • Butterfly Drawing Reflection #2 (one per student and one to display)
  • Butterfly Drawing Reflection #2 (example, for teacher reference)
  • What Does Peer Feedback Look and Sound Like? anchor chart (begun in Module 3)
  • Speaking and Listening Checklist (for teacher reference; see Assessment Overview and Resources)


Each unit in the K-2 Language Arts Curriculum has one standards-based assessment built in. The module concludes with a performance task at the end of Unit 3 to synthesize their understanding of what they accomplished through supported, standards-based writing.


OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Capitalization in Letter Writing: Amanda's Letter (5 minutes)

  • Gather students in the whole group meeting area.
  • Display Amanda's letter and invite students to read it chorally.
  • Review the rule for capitalization of proper nouns and ask students to identify proper nouns in Amanda's letter, highlighting the capitalized letters.
  • Remind students that they will write a welcome letter for the Celebration of Learning in a future lesson, and point out that the details in Amanda's letter will help them accurately write this letter.
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with comprehension: (Contrasting Nouns and Proper Nouns) Remind students that proper nouns are names, and that names must be capitalized. Display different nouns and proper nouns to compare and contrast. Drill students to identify the proper nouns (e.g., school, Chatham Park Elementary School; principal, Principal Smith. (MMR)

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Shared Writing: Wildflower Seed Planting Instructions (20 minutes)

  • Refocus whole group.
  • Display the Wildflower Seed Packet: Bee Model, and tell students that by the end of this lesson they will have nearly completed the following parts of their wildflower seed packets:
    1. Wildflower seed packet writing pieces that will be typed during the next few lessons.
    2. Butterfly drawings that will be revised for realistic patterns and colors.
    3. Planting instructions for wildflower seeds that will be written together right now.
  • Remind students that they did research about what plants need in order to grow and survive during Module 3 and ask:

"What do plants need to grow and survive?" (water, soil, sunlight, room to grow)

  • As students share out, capture their responses on the board.
  • Display the sample wildflower seed planting instructions.
  • Read the planting instructions in the left column aloud, cuing students to listen for instructions that address plant needs for growth and survival:
  • Ask:

"Do the steps in these instructions meet the needs of plants? How?" (Responses will vary, but may include reasons the planting instructions do or do not meet the survival needs of plants.)

Conversation Cue: "What if the instructions were missing the step to water the plant? What do you think would happen?" (Responses will vary, but may include: The plant would not survive because it wouldn't get the water it needs.)

  • Confirm that the instructions make mention of how to put the seeds in soil, the amount of water the seeds need, and how much sunlight they require.
  • Read the planting instructions in the right column aloud.
  • Ask:

"Do the steps in these instructions meet the needs of plants? How?" (Responses will vary, but may include: Yes, the instructions tell about the soil, water, and sunlight needed for the seeds to grow.)

  • Referring to both sets of displayed seed planting instructions, point out the similarities and differences.
  • Following the shared writing routine established in Unit 2, create shared wildflower planting instructions:
    • Turn and Talk:

"What instructions should we include for planting wildflowers?" (Responses will vary, but may include: instructions for how to prepare the soil and the amount of light and water the seeds need to grow)

    • Listen in and record student responses on the board.
    • Read student ideas aloud, synthesizing their ideas into a set of simple instructions.
  • Invite students to read the final set of planting instructions chorally, telling them that they will be able to include these instructions on the front of their wildflower seed packets.
  • For ELLs: (Role Playing: Instructions) To support comprehension of the language and purpose of the instructions, invite students to act out each step of the process from planting wildflower seeds during the shared writing activity.
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with motivation: (Transparency: Text Structure) Ensure that the purpose of using a different text structure for the planting instructions (a sequentially numbered list) is transparent. (MME)
  • For students who may need additional support with comprehension: Sketch visuals above keywords on the shared writing piece. (MMR)

B. Scientific Drawing: Adding Realistic Patterns to Butterfly Drawings (20 minutes)

  • Refocus whole group.
  • Following the same routine from Unit 2, invite students to act out the process of metamorphosis as you briefly describe the process. Say:

"Lie on the floor like a caterpillar."

"Pretend to munch on plants like a caterpillar building up energy to create a chrysalis."

"Make yourself very small into a tiny ball, with your arms wrapped around you like a chrysalis."

"Slowly emerge from your chrysalis, unwrapping your arms."

"Stand up and stretch your wings as wide as you can. Stretch your arms wide and stand on the tip of your toes!"

"Finally, slowly take in your first breaths as a butterfly! Slowly breathe in through your nose and raise your wings. Slowly breathe out through your mouth and lower your wings."

  • Continue the butterfly breaths for about 1 minute, and invite students to sit down quietly and comfortably.
  • Remind students that they have already received feedback and revised their butterfly drawings for accurate shape, and that they will now work to add realistic patterns to their drawings.
  • Display Austin's Butterfly Draft #1 and Austin's Butterfly Draft #4, and share that Austin had the opportunity to revise his drawing for accurate shape.
  • Turn and Talk:

"How did Austin make the shape of his butterfly more accurate?" (Responses will vary, but may include: The size of the top and bottom of the wings changed, and the lines are more pointed than rounded in the revised copy.)

  • Display the Wildflower Seed Packet Criteria Checklist and read criterion #5 aloud:
    • "Drawing of butterfly uses accurate pattern"
  • Review the meaning of accurate (being correct) and pattern (an arrangement of shapes, lines, letters, numbers, or colors that can be repeated or used again and again).
  • Display Austin's Butterfly Draft #5, and point out that Austin added accurate patterns to his drawing by observing images of butterflies.
  • Ask:

"What changes did Austin make to add accurate patterns to his butterfly drawing?" (Responses will vary, but may include: Austin drew the same stripes on both wings; he added the same number of dots to both wings.)

  • Display the monarch butterfly photograph, and tell students that they will observe the image to draw accurate patterns on their butterfly drawings.
  • Turn and Talk:

"What patterns do you see that you will add to your butterfly drawing to make it more accurate?" (Responses will vary, but may include: small white dots around the edges; larger orange spots near the top edges of the wing; thin white stripes on the body)

  • Transition students to their workspaces and point out the pre-distributed butterfly drawings, monarch butterfly photographs, and Wildflower Seed Packet Criteria Checklists.
  • Remind students that they have multiple copies of their butterfly drawings that were revised for shape. Point out that these copies make it easier for them to create multiple drafts of accurate patterns without completely redrawing their butterfly shape.
  • Invite students to begin adding accurate patterns to their drawings and circulate to support them as they work.
  • When 2 minutes remain, direct students to check off criterion #5 on their Wildflower Seed Packet Criteria Checklist if they have finished this step. Confirm that they will have additional time during the next lesson to continue adding accurate patterns to their butterfly drawing if they are not yet finished.
  • Invite students to stand up and stretch their wings before sharing their revised drawings with a table partner.
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with strategy development: (Modeling: Coloring Tips) Briefly model each coloring tip to support comprehension of its description. (MMAE)
  • For students who may need additional support with planning: Before transitioning students to workspaces, consider inviting students to verbally share what they need to do on their butterfly drawing in this session. (MMAE, MME)

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reflecting on Learning (15 minutes)

  • Refocus whole group.
  • Display Butterfly Drawing Reflection #2 and read the prompt aloud:
    • "What is one challenge you had to work through? How did you work through it?"
  • Distribute Butterfly Drawing Reflection #2 sheets.
  • Guide students through completing their reflection by inviting them to:
    1. Think about which skills were challenging to apply and how they worked through the challenge.
    2. Think about evidence that they can show in their drawing.
    3. Write notes as words and phrases.
    4. Complete the sentence frames using their notes.
  • Circulate to support students as they think, write notes, and complete their sentence frames.
  • Invite students to share their reflection with an elbow partner by reading the completed sentence frames and pointing out the related evidence in their butterfly drawing.
  • Invite students to celebrate their partner's work and effort by using the Positive Partner Response sentence starters on the What Does Peer Feedback Look and Sound Like? anchor chart to offer positive comments about their partner's work.
  • As students share and offer feedback, choose one or two partnerships to listen to and assess using the Speaking and Listening Checklist.
  • Refocus whole group and preview tomorrow's work: adding realistic color to their drawings and shared writing of wildflower seed planting instructions.
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with reflection: (Modeling and Thinking Aloud: Reflection) Model and think aloud the process of thinking about and responding to the reflection questions. (MMAE)

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