Lesson plan

Animal Life Cycles, All Around

Life cycles go around and around! In this technology-integrated lesson, students will research various animal life cycles and write about them.
Grade Subject View aligned standards

Students will be able to participate in a shared research and writing project and use a digital tool to produce and publish their writing.

(10 minutes)
  • Engage learners by having them think about similarities and differences between a kangaroo and an ostrich.
  • Display the Kangaroos worksheet and Ostriches worksheet, read the text, and point out the images. Ask students to describe differences between the animals.
  • Tell the class that they will be conducting some research so they can describe and write about the life cycles of some different animals.
(10 minutes)
  • Display a copy of the Life Cycle of a Bird worksheet and the Life Cycle of a Mouse worksheet, and demonstrate the process of ordering the parts of the animal's life cycles. Explain that you are looking at the series of events in the life of these animals, and that you are going to put them in the correct sequence. Include that understanding the sequence of their life cycle helps you understand more about the animal as whole.
  • Explain that research is when we look for information and facts about a specific topic. Model the process of researching the life cycles and using the visual pictures to construct sentences that explain the particular parts of the animals' life cycles. Use sequence words, such as first, next, and last.
  • Tell the class that they will be working with a partner to choose an animal from a provided list and then researching its life cycle. Then, they will use a digital tool to produce their sentences. They will publish their sentences and share with their peers to teach them about the animal's life cycle.
(15 minutes)
  • Use the set of Animal Life Cycle pages and choose one to display on the document camera or whiteboard.
  • Lead the class in researching that particular animal using either books or the internet and a search engine.
  • Invite eight students to the front of the room to act out the life cycle of the chosen animal. Utilize four students as the arrows, and four as the different components of the life cycle.
  • Lead the class in a discussion on the animal's life cycle and the relationship between the components of the life cycle. At this time, show students how to use a digital tool, like Seesaw, to create sentences about the animal's life cycle based on the class's discussion.
(25 minutes)
  • Pair students together and assign one animal from the Animal Life Cycle pages to each group. Distribute the corresponding animal life cycle page.
  • Instruct partnerships to use books and the internet to search about their animal's life cycle. Circulate and answer questions, as needed. Prompt student discussion by asking, "What is the relationship between the series of events in the life cycle?"
  • Guide the class in the process of writing their sentences to explain how the components of the life cycle are connected. Provide partnerships with access to a tablet or computer in order to produce and publish their sentences on a digital tool, such as the Seesaw program.
  • Enrichment: Challenge students to compare and contrast the life cycles of two different animals. For groups that may be advanced or work more quickly, have them plan a tableau of a different animal and then describe the similarities and differences.
  • Support: Provide students with sentence frames to complete to describe their animal's life cycle. (e.g., First, the ____ goes through a stage called ____.)
(10 minutes)
  • Rotate and observe students as they research, discuss, and produce sentences about their animal's life cycle. Question them on the different parts of the life cycle that they are representing. Have them describe the relationship between the components in the life cycle.
  • Utilize the completed Seesaw product to assess students' understanding of their animal's life cycle and how the components are connected.
(10 minutes)
  • Allow students time to share their Seesaw product with the class.
  • Remind the class how we can describe a sequence of events using words that show the order in which things happen. If we understand the sequence of the life cycle, we have a better understanding about that certain animal.

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