Life Cycles of Animals

seeds2.jpg corn_plant_for_life_cycle_lesson-jing.png corn_ear_for_life_cycle_lesson.png seeds.jpg popcorn_for_life_cycle_lesson-jing.png The Life Cycle of Popcorn!

1. Preplanning:

Objectives: When presented with a graphic organizer document, the students will sequence the life cycle of a selected animal, with 100% accuracy


Standard - Animals (Life Science) 2.2 The student will demonstrate an understanding of the needs and characteristics of animals as they interact in their own distinct environment.

2-2.5 Illustrate the various life cycles of animals (including birth and stages of development).

Materials: sequence worksheets on life cycles of animals-some worksheets will have boxes for numbers, some will be pre-cut, scissors, glue, pencil, crayons, Smart board—pictures of life cycles of various animals, graphic organizer, and computer


Prerequisite Skills: Prior knowledge of sequencing and understanding that things go through stages of development, knowledge of Smart board, computer and voice recognition.

2. Lesson Opening:

Today in science, we are going to learn about life cycles, or stages of development. Think about a baby. When a baby is born does it know how to walk already? No—that’s right. When the baby is older, he starts out by crawling. Then he pulls up. Next, he holds on to furniture or other objects while he takes steps. After a while, he is walking by himself, and the next thing you know he is running! Let’s count the stages: 1. He crawls. 2. He pulls up. 3. He holds on to furniture or other stuff and takes steps. 4. He walks alone. 5. He runs. How many stages? Yes, there are five. Good job! Everything starts somewhere and develops along the way until it is finished or mature.

Since popcorn is our theme, we are going to first look at the life cycle of popcorn. This is a time lapse video, which means the pictures will be changing fast. Look closely, because things will be happening before your very eyes!

Video: From “Charagra” on YouTube Life Cycle of Popcorn

3. Lesson Body:

  • MODEL: The video was quick, wasn’t it? It was sometimes hard to see the stages. (The teacher will draw each stage on the Smart board as she discusses). The first thing I noticed was the corn plant. But guess what? Even before the plant, there had to be a seed, right? Sometimes we can add the stages that are missing, or combine some stages if it helps to better understand what you are doing. Next, I saw that the ears of corn grew. Then, the husks were pulled back so the sun could dry out the corn. Then the corn plants dry out. That is where the video stops, but what do you think happened next? Yes, the corn was harvested then the seeds were removed. The seeds are bagged or boxed, then taken to a place to be sold. Last, we pop it and eat it! Boy, there are a lot of stages in the life cycle of popcorn, there are probably some that we don’t know about, but we don’t have to know every stage because it would be too much to remember. How does the popcorn begin? Then what happens? After the husks are pulled back, what happens? What happens to the seeds? What do we do before we eat it? Great! You remembered the stages.

Let’s look at people now. (Teacher draws stages on Smart board). Let’s go back to the baby. Before we are born we are an egg. We are called a fetus when we grow inside our mommy. Once we are born we are called an infant. We start to grow more and become a child, then teenager, then adult, then older adult. What happens first, the egg or the fetus? What’s next? Then what? After we become a child, what stage is next?

Then we become? Last we are?

Life Cycle of People Drawings

Drawing with egg, fetus, infant, child, teen, adult, older adult.

  • LEAD: Now we are going to look at the life cycles of some animals. We are going to sequence, or put in order the different stages of the frog, fish and eagle. I want you to pay attention as we put the stages in order on the Smart board. You can choose one of these animals to do their life cycle. Later, we will do something else with the animal that you choose. Let’s start with the frog. Look at the pictures. They give us clues. You see tadpole, froglet, eggs and adult frog. What do you think happens first? Right—the eggs. Now you are going to take turns coming up and choosing the next stage until the cycle is complete. Some of you may choose to hold up a picture of the correct stage when it is your turn, then I will drag the right picture down. What are the stages? What happens between the tadpole stage and the adult stage?

Time to do the fish. I have pictures of fry, eggs, adult fish, and juvenile fish. What’s first? Next? Next? Last? Nice work! You are seeing that

everything starts somewhere and develops in the correct order until it's mature.

Last we will do the bald eagle. Did you know that the bald eagle is a symbol for our country? Guess what eagles like to eat? Yes, fish! The life cycle of the bald eagle includes the fledgling, eaglet, egg, mature eagle, and the juvenile eagle. I bet you can guess how the eagle begins. Of course, as an egg. Look closely at the pictures. Here’s a hint—the eaglet is smaller and gray. What is next? After that? And last? Does everything have a life cycle? Do you have a life cycle? Why?

  • TEST: We are going to switch gears a minute and go to Kidspiration. We are going to do a graphic organizer. A graphic organizer helps us pull all our information together and helps us remember what we’ve learned. I am going to show you how it works. Look at the circle in the middle. That’s where we put our topic. See the lines and bubbles that come from the circle? That’s where we put pictures and words about the topic. Today we learned about life cycles so I am going to demonstrate how to use the graphic organizer to do a life cycle. Let’s do something gross, like a fly! I would put a picture of the adult fly in the middle circle. I’m going to type adult fly under the picture. In the first bubble I’m going to put a picture of the eggs and write eggs underneath. In the second picture I’m going to put a picture of the larva, or the maggot, then write the word. In the next bubble I’m going to put the picture of the pupa and write the word. That’s how you do a graphic organizer. You all are going to do one for your chosen animal. The document will be saved and printed for each student. While one student is at the board, the other students will be looking at pictures and watching a video from National Geographic on the bald eagle, or coloring their sequence pictures, or coloring their graphic organizer.

This is the graphic organizer for the life cycle of the fly.

Video: Bald Eagle Facts and Picture

  • Differentiation : Each student will have a sequenced worksheet for their animal life cycle to refer to when completing the organizer. Some students will have animals with fewer stages of development. Some will cut and paste the worksheet in order. Some will not have to cut out the life cycle but will number the pictures in the right order. Some will have pictures that are already cut out and will place them in the right order.

4. Lesson Closing :

Today we learned about the life cycles of a plant, humans and some animals. We learned how to sequence the stages of development, and that things start somewhere and develop over time to maturity. We also learned how to do a graphic organizer. We’ll have a little more time to finish coloring your pictures and graphic organizer, then we will have to pick up and prepare for the next task.

5. Evaluation:

Life Cycle of Animals


Name of Animal

Number of Stages

Number in Correct Order


Objective Met?

  • Differentiation: They will all do the graphic organizer. Some will do their graphic organizer independently. Some will drag the picture but use voice recognition to type the words. Others will point to a picture on their worksheet to indicate the correct order and the teacher will drag the picture and type in the word.