Field Trips: Docent-led Classes

Docent-led classes at the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House include hands-on, student driven investigations that connect them with the world of butterflies and other insects. We use living animals and real specimens, not easily obtained for classroom use, and each class includes an unforgettable trip through our Tropical Conservatory of living butterflies. The programs are designed to foster a greater understanding of butterflies and their importance to the balance of life on Earth. 

Programs compliment classroom curricula and cover concepts outlined in both the Missouri and Illinois Science Standards.

Learn about scheduling, chaperone requirements and program fees.



Story of a Butterfly
Grade PreK–K
Offered Year-round
1 hour

CaterpillarPreschoolers become involved in the butterfly life cycle. Puppet-model caterpillars present metamorphosis. Students "grow" a butterfly of puzzle pieces. A five minute video will lead the students to the tropical conservatory to find examples living and non-living, five senses and colors on the tropical butterflies.

Adventures in a Butterfly Garden
Grades K–3
Offered Year-round
1½ hours

Butterfly feedingLearn about pollination as we explore the life cycles of butterflies, honeybees and the plants they care for. Then, apply your new-found knowledge to create a unique pollinator of your own design. Each student will create their own pollinator to take home with them.

Wings of Wonder
Grades K–3
Offered Year-round
1½ hours

Butterfly eggsObservation skills are put to the test with samples of butterfly eggs, larvae, pupae and adults. Complete a scientific experiment with us as we look at butterfly behaviors, collect data and graph our results.

Living the Butterfly Life
Grades 3–5
Offered Year-round
1½ hours

ChrysalisStudents use living insects to compare and contrast complete and incomplete metamorphosis. The Butterfly Effect introduces students to life cycles, protective behaviors and coloration of butterflies. Students will then identify specific butterflies with a dichotomous key and collect data on butterfly biology.

Take a Walk with Butterflies 
Grades 3–5
Offered Year-round
1½ hours

Close up of wing scalesLearn the butterfly’s body parts and life cycle with the aid of microscopes and real specimens. We will watch the film The Butterfly Effect, then journey to the tropical conservatory for observations and a scavenger hunt.


Scheduling, Chaperones & Fees

Classes are available August to May. Docent-led classes are offered Tuesdays - Fridays at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
  • Registration for Fall 2016 school field trips is currently open.
  • Registration for Spring 2017 begins Tuesday, November 8, 2016.

Schedule a docent-led class

Chaperones are required at a minimum of one adult for every five students.

Field Trip Class capacity is 30 students per program, but split session classes of up to 60 students per program may be considered. Call (636) 530-0076 x 13 for more information.

Field Trip Class Fees
$150 for up to 30 students and 6 adults (additional adults in excess of required chaperones pay normal admission rates).

Learn at Our Other Sites

Check out school programs at the Missouri Botanical Garden and the Shaw Nature Reserve!

Or if you're looking for an opportunity for in-depth field study with your students, consider Litzsinger Road Ecology Center, managed by the Missouri Botanical Garden.


Butterfly School

Don't miss the learning resources available on our Butterfly School website including additional instructional ideas, suggested reading and activities for all ages. Explore butterfly life cycle and behaviors while you learn more about butterflies, moths and other invertebrates.