Did you know that North America is home to more than 700 species of butterfly? Not only are they beautiful to look at, they play an important role in the pollination of flowering plants and are great indicators of climate change and habitat destruction. 

Students examine photographs of a variety of Alberta Butterfly species before being led step by step through the process of how to build a symmetrical clay butterfly using hand shaped slabs and coils. 

Learning outcomes: 

Students will: 

  • Learn what clay is and where it comes from; why it is bisque fired in a kiln; how to use clay and clay tools safely in a professional studio environment. 
  • Explore land based learning concepts and discuss environmental impacts on butterfly habitats.  
  • Discuss common butterfly species in Alberta, such as, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Tiger SwallowtailMonarch, and why colour, symmetry and pattern are so important for their survival.  
  • Experiment with drawingimpressing, rollingand coiling clay in order to create a realistic rendering of a symmetrical butterfly. 

Curriculum Links: 

  • Art: refining forms, creative process, expression and celebration, fine and gross motor skill development
  • Social: Belonging and Connecting, My world, home, school, community
  • Science: Shapes, Colours, Animals, Insects, Experimentation, Critical thinking, problem solving and decision making
  • Math: Symmetry and Pattern

Suggested field trips to pair with: 

Visual Art Studio Field Trips: 

The Art Gallery of St. Albert runs clay and multimedia art fieldtrips in the Visual Art Studios at St. Albert Place, located at 5 St. Anne Street. Parent volunteers are required for our programs to be a successful experience for all, so please provide them with correct address information on your fieldtrip forms. 

St. Albert Place is a public building so it is important to keep voices down when entering the front doors and walking past the elevators to the end of the hall with your class. There are coat hangers available for three different classes under the windows outside of the studios. Please keep your students grouped together and knock on your assigned studio door when you are ready to enter. Instructors will meet you in the hallway to confirm student numbers and inform students and adults of important studio rules before entering. 

Kindly email registration@artsandheritage.ca or call 780 459 1163 for more information regarding booking a Visual Art Studio field trip. 

Virtual Fees:

  • $9 per student (minimum class fee based on 16 students)
  • Includes Art Kit (Air-dry clay, clay tools and water buckets; please inform registration if you would prefer H435 bisque fired clay)
    • free pickup at Art Gallery of St. Albert or
    • Added fee of $65 for delivery in St. Albert and $95 for delivery in Edmonton (Please request a quote for all outlying areas)

Studio Fees:

  • $9 per student (minimum class fee of based on 16 students)


We’ll send an invoice to your school within one month—please don’t bring your payment to the workshop.

Please make cheques payable to Arts and Heritage St. Albert. Include invoice numbers and mail to:
Arts and Heritage St. Albert
Suite #200, 20 Perron Street
St. Albert, AB  T8N 1E4

For account inquiries, contact us at 780-459-1163 or registration@artsandheritage.ca

Information and Policies

What teachers are saying about Brilliant Butterfly: 

“A wonderful experience with a gorgeous outcome. The program was well organized and taught nicely step by step.” – teacher from St. Augustine Elementary

Watching the students so engaged and independent while creating with a medium they had never experienced before. It was wonderful watching the children transform from wide eyed six year olds into successful, confident risk takers in the course of an hour and a half. (Aldergrove Elementary)

Total Time

1.5 hours


Kindergarten, Grade 1, Grade 2

Curriculum Link

Art, Creative Expression, Clay Program, Science, Virtual field trip


Virtual field trip, Visual Arts Studios, St. Albert Place