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The Life Cycle of Butterflies, Day 2
Grade Level(s): Pre-K–2
This 2 day lesson is part of a larger unit that focuses on the life cycle of butterflies, including their habitats, eating habits, and growth cycle. In this particular set of lessons, students will learn about the growth cycle of the butterfly, and will extend that knowledge to understand that the growth cycle of butterflies is different from many other animals. Students will engage in several different activities to support their learning and they will have several different opportunities throughout the next two days to share their new found knowledge.
Lesson Description for Day
In this second lesson, students will extend their knowledge of life cycles to other animals.
- Minnesota Academic Standards, Strand IV.B: (Diversity of Organisms) The student will recognize that plants and animals have life cycles. The student will describe life cycles of plants and animals.
- California Science, Standard 2.a, 2.b: (Life Sciences) Plants and animals have predictable life cycles. As a basis for understanding this concept: a. Students know that organisms reproduce offspring of their own kind and that the offspring resemble their parents and one another; b. Students know the sequential stages of life cycles are different for different animals, such as butterflies, frogs, and mice.
- Students will identify and describe the life cycle of a butterfly
- Students will demonstrate that the life cycle of the butterfly is different than other animals
- Students will demonstrate their understanding that at the beginning of an animal's life cycle, some young animals represent the adult while others do not.
- understand that sometimes the young of a species resemble the adults and sometime they do not.
- articulate differences the in the life cycles of butterflies and at least one other animal (frog, human, skunk, insect, farm or domestic animal).
Engage children in a discussion regarding what they know about the life cycle of other animals, including themselves. How are they similar or different from a butterfly? To respond to this question, ask students to participate in a carousel. Ask students to turn to a partner and tell one thing that is different. Next ask one student to tell the class what they think is different; ask how many students had that same thought. Then ask another student for a different thought and so on until all of the students' thoughts have been represented. Capture these thoughts on a white board, on a computer with projection, etc. Explain that you are now going to read Mama's Wild Child and they are to listen to see which of their ideas are represented in the book.
Read Mama's Wild Child to your class. As you read, ask your students questions about the book to keep them engaged and focused on its critical features. After you finish the book, ask students which of their ideas were represented in the story. Sort the ideas according to whether they were in the story or not. If some of the ideas were not present in the book, ask students why they think they were not in the book. In addition ask additional questions such as, What did you learn about the life cycle of animals? How does the life cycle of some animals differ from the butterfly? What part of the book did you like best?)
Share lesson goals and objectives with students: that they will learn about the life cycle of different animals, the names of the stages, what they look like, whether the young resemble the adult of the species. Connect lesson goals to Mama's Wild Child, e.g. which baby animals look like their parents, which ones do not. Let's talk about some of the differences.
In a large group, tell children that they are going to have an opportunity to learn how the life cycles of animals are similar and different.
- Display a model of the butterfly life cycle.
- Ask students to use the butterfly cards from the previous day to help them remember the life cycle of the butterfly.
- As a support to engage students in a discussion, use the Animal Life Cycle cards, which depict the life cycle of different animals, and ask children to identify whether or not the life cycle depicted is similar or different from the butterfly life cycle. Questions that will support this discussion include, How many stages are in the life of this animal? Does this animal have a stage called caterpillar? Do the young look like the adults?
When students return to the large group, ask children who have selected the same animal to explain how the life cycle of their animal differs from the butterfly. Write these on a large sheet of paper to post in the room. Then move to the next animal identified by students and repeat.
Life Cycles Differ- In this activity, students may choose to work alone or with a partner. Ask each student or pair of students to select an animal of their choice (frog, farm animal, human) and to quietly figure out one difference between the life cycle of that animal and the butterfly. Tell them to be prepared to return to the large group to share their findings. Give students about 10 minutes to complete this task before returning to the large group. Resources that students can access include the Erie School District web site (with text-to-speech supports [link to this resource on our web site]), books (see, list of books under materials, books can be available on tape at the listening center to support decoding skills), or the Animal Life Cycle Activity Cards. Give students time to browse their resources.
The Young of Some Animals Resemble the Adults - In a large group use the Animal Life Cycle Cards, to demonstrate to students the life cycles of several animals one at a time.
Provide additional pictures from your own collection.
As each animal is presented, ask the following discussion questions:
How many stages are in the life cycle of this animal?
What are the names of the stages?
Do the babies look like the adults?
(Since the Animal Life Cycle Cards only represent 5 animals, you may want to supplement these with other examples. The Enchanted Learning and the Erie Pa site have additional pictures. You can also Google images to print your own pictures, but be sure to do this at home, not in front of your students as some images may not be appropriate for your students).
Collect information on a chart and highlight the similarities and differences between animals, e.g. # of stages in the animal's life cycle, do babies resemble adults).
Set up 4 learning centers in your classroom. Prior to going to the centers, students will select their own animal to study. Students must visit two centers, they must choose to visit either center 1 or 2 and they must visit either center 3 or 4. Provide students choice to work alone or in pairs. The purpose of centers 1 and 2 is to provide students with the opportunity to compare the life cycle of their selected animal with that of the butterfly. The purpose of centers 3 and 4 is to provide students with the opportunity to examine the life cycle of their animal more closely to determine whether the young resemble the adult.
When students are finished in the centers, they are expected to explain their new understanding about the life cycle of their selected animals. They are expected to use correct vocabulary and correctly sequence the stages, or discuss similarities and differences between the young and adult stages of their selected animal. Students may choose to present with their partner or by themselves. If students choose to present in pairs, each student is expected to take part in the presentation.Comparison between their animal and butterfly
- Center 1: Art Center: markers, crayons, pencils, paper, glue, and scissors. Students create their own representation of the life cycle of their animal using the attached template (Center 1 Art Center Template.doc) which has the butterfly life cycle included. This will allow them to compare the life cycle of their animal with that of the butterfly. They must be ready to share how the life cycle of their animal resembles or is different from the life cycle of a butterfly.
- Center 2: Computer Center: Using KidspirationTM or paper and crayons, students complete a supported life cycle map of their animal. They can also use some of the graphics in KidspirationTM to label their map; however, it might be better if they draw some of their own pictures, since the pictures in KidspirationTM are not all inclusive of the life cycle stages. They can either type in the labels or they can cut and paste the labels onto their map. They must be ready to explain how the life cycle of their animal resembles or is different from the graphic (used in Lesson 1) of the life cycle of a butterfly.
- Center 3: Book Center: pencils, crayons, paper. Students write about (using invented spelling) whether the young of their selected animal resembles the adult. (e.g. poetry, sentences, bulleted points, etc.).
- Center 4: Poster Center: On a piece of oaktag students draw a picture of the young and adult members of their animals. Have models available for them to copy from, or if they have difficulty drawing, print pictures from the Internet that they can paste. Pictures are easily found and printed by using the Google search for Images (eg. Do a search for dog with puppy, horse with colt etc.). Using a red crayon, they circle things that are the same between the young and the adult. Using a green crayon, they circle things that are different between the young and the adult. Then they are to write a short description (a few sentences) about what they learned regarding similarities and differences.
Students will use their new knowledge about the life cycles of animals to create the life cycles of their own imaginary animals.
They can either draw these in a poster-like fashion on a piece of oaktag, or they can draw and cut-out the figures and glue them onto popsicle sticks to make puppets.
They should also give names to their animal and its life cycle stages.
They can use inventive spelling or ask for peer or teacher assistance.
They need to be ready to explain which real animal life cycle their life cycle resembles and why.
Patterns of acceptable imaginary life cycles include:
Egg-young-adult (eg. Chicken)
Young-adult (eg. Mammal)
Egg-some sort of very young stage like a pupa or tadpole – some sort of teen stage like a froglet or caterpillar – adult (eg. Butterfly, moth, frog).
Provide ongoing assessment throughout the lesson.
- Observe and encourage student participation in class discussion, asking and answering questions, and volunteering comments and ideas.
- Visit students and provide direction, correct any errors, and affirm successes.
- Did student's responses accurately answer the question?
At the end of the lesson, ask students to present one of their completed center activities to the rest of the class.
If students have worked in pairs, allow them to present together, however, make it clear that each student is responsible for some part of the presentation.
The following questions should be considered when evaluating student responses.
Did students accurately sequence and name stages of their selected animals?
Did students use the correct vocabulary words to label the life cycle of their animal?
Were graphical representations accurate (size, shape)?
Did students demonstrate knowledge regarding whether the young resemble the adult?
- Enchanted Learning
Print out materials on the life cycles of many animals including frogs, cicadas etc.
- The Erie, Pennsylvania School District had posted a web site that has nice pictures of the life cycles of different animals.
- For images of life cycles in the public domain
- Animal Life Cycles/Picture Cards (24 Cards) (Paperback) by Jo Ellen Moore, Leslie Tryon
Available at http://www.evan-moor.com/catalog/book.asp?CID=13&SID=114&BID=298 for $12.95.
- Ants. Weekly Reader Early Learning Library. (2004) Milwaukee, WI. Depicts the life cycle of ants.
- Bees. Weekly Reader Early Learning Library. (2004) Milwaukee, WI. Depicts the life cycle of bees.
- Baby Animals (2001) by Angela Serena Ildos, White Star Publishers: Vercelli, Italy Wonderful pictures of animals from all around the world. This book is good to engage students who are interested in thinking about animals not typically portrayed in K-2 curriculum.
- Mama's Wild Child, (2006) by Diane Hutts Aston. Charlesbridge: Watertown, MA. This book is a flip book, the other side is about father's and their babies.
- Watch Me Grow, (2003). By Lisa Magloff. Dk Publishing: London, England. A series of books about the life cycles of animals including a frog, rabbit, kitten, farm animals, duckling and butterfly.
- The Life Cycle of a Koala, (2002.) The Life Cycle of a Bird, (2001). The Life Cycle of a Sea Turtle, (2002). The Life Cycle of a Frog, (2001). The Life Cycle of a Honeybee, (2005). The Life Cycle of a Lion, (2005). By Bobbie Kalman. Crabtree Publishing: New York: NY.
- March of the Penguins, (2006) From the film by Luc Jacquet. National Geographic: Washington, DC.
- Pictures of the life cycles of different animals.
- Flash cards of words relating to Life Cycles of Animals other than butterflies. These words can also be put on a classroom word wall (attached). Please feel free to add additional words for animals your students choose to study.
- Graphic Organizer for Life Cycle of Other Animals (attached). You can have students complete this electronically if you have Kidspiration.
- Markers, crayons, pencils, paper, glue, scissors, popsicle sticks, oaktag.