The focus of this website is active student investigation. The projects are designed to spark interest in science, raise global awareness, foster critical thinking and develop communication skills.

The lessons work well as independent, cooperative group, or whole classroom activities from grades three through six.

We have chosen fourth grade as our benchmark, but any lesson can easily be modified for your students. The lessons on this website were created using principles of inquiry science by elementary educators.  

These lesson plans include science, social studies, mathematics, and writing projects based on the life cycle of Manduca. For each growth period of the Manduca life cycle, there are multiple lesson plans. Each of these plans includes an overview, objectives and a summary of images and instructions.

We strongly encourage teachers to rear Manduca in the classroom while implementing these lessons. Manduca are hardy creatures and most importantly, student-friendly. The entire life cycle takes about two months. There is a wide range of teacher and student-geared information in the pages listed under the About Manduca and For Students menu items, and on the Lesson Plan Index page.

Inquiry-based science is based on generating “I wonder why”… type questions. Teachers are not expected to know all of the answers! Inquiry science means learning through experimentation and investigation. This website is designed to help both teachers and students discover the answers!

This website was developed in conjunction with Professor Walter Goodman and Dixie Lang of University of Wisconsin – Madison, Department of Entomology and Josey Guiney and Tess Bashaw, School of Education. Tracy Madison created the videos and Susan Carpenter was the presenter. This website was, in part, supported by a generous gift from the Entomological Foundation.