had a blast learning about life cycles this year! During our
study of butterflies, I used various strategies to teach the
stages of the life cycle. Some of these strategies included:
books � our favorites were:
Charlie the Caterpillar by Dom Deluise and Christopher
The Caterpillar and the Polliwog by Jack Kent (video
available on United Streaming)
Watching Videos - we viewed the following from United Streaming
Cycles: Metamorphosis� �Animal Life Cycles�
Games � an all-time favorite we played was�
reinforces the stages the butterfly goes through during
metamorphosis using a relay
Divide the class into
teams of 4 (to represent 4 stages) � Place two students from
each group on opposite sides of the room. The first person in
each group will represent the egg stage by racing
across the classroom holding an egg in a spoon (if the egg
falls, students must restart). When they reach the other side
of the room, the second person in the team will represent the
larva stage by crawling back across the room. The
third person will go next, representing the pupa stage
by standing inside a pillowcase (chrysalis) and hopping
across the room. The final person in the group will represent
the adult stage (butterfly) by flapping their arms
and running across the room to the �finish line�.
PowerPoints � I found some great PowerPoints online about the
butterfly�s life cycle to show students.
Brockert has created an awesome
PowerPoint to share with teachers:
Poetry/Singing Songs � a favorite of mine to compare life cycles
Caterpillars and Tadpoles
Living things all change and grow.
Caterpillars and tadpoles do, you know.
Little caterpillars hatch from eggs.
Baby tadpoles hatch from eggs
Caterpillars crawl as they grow strong.
Tadpoles grow as they swim along.
Caterpillars� legs will disappear.
Tadpoles sprout legs within a year
Caterpillar becomes a butterfly.
Tadpole is soon a frog, Oh my!
Butterfly learns to flutter and fly.
Froggie learns how to hop so high.
Living things all change and grow.
Frogs and butterflies did, you know.
Pictures and Diagrams � After reading the above poem students
draw the stages in the butterfly and frog�s life cycles to
Life Experience � We hatch butterflies in our classroom (the
butterflies are provided to us through our district science
Extension Projects � Finally, students are encouraged to choose
a project to complete to show their knowledge of the butterfly�s
chosen this year included,
� Paper Plate Life Cycle
� Macaroni Life Cycle Book (white bean for egg, corkscrew noodle
for caterpillar, shell noodle for chrysalis, bowtie noodle for
� Hand-Made books
� Mobiles (using a coat hanger)
� Puppets (made from paper and glued to craft sticks)
� Power Point slideshows (in groups)
� Posters with drawings and captions
HERE for a
sample of a group Power Point created by students. If they chose
this project, I provided them with specific guidelines to follow
since we have been working on learning about fonts and
animations in Power Point. I did assist students with grouping
some of their objects together before adding animations. I also
required them to use �random effects� as their animation of
loved all of the strategies used to teach this unit and I feel
that all students were able to master the content and show this
through their extension projects. They loved having a choice
(ownership) of the learning process!
Carolina 2nd Grade Science Standards Addressed:
S II B
B. Life Cycles of Organisms
S II B 1
1. Animals have life cycles that include
being born, developing into adults, reproducing, and
S II B 1a
a. Observe and describe the growth and
development of animals throughout their life cycles.
S II B 1b
b. Investigate and understand that
animals go through a series of orderly changes in their
S II B 1c
c. Observe growth in animals over time.
S II B 2
2. Animals closely resemble their parents.
S II B 2a
Investigate that some animals go through distinct
stages (metamorphosis) during their lives while others
resemble their parents throughout their life cycle.
S II B 2b
b. Classify animals based on their