Life Cycles

Name: Diana Pyatigorsky                                 

Grade: First Grade

Subject: Science

Lesson Title: Introduction to Life Cycles


“The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle

Set of butterfly life cycle pictures

Poster Board

Crayons, Pencils, Markers

Pre-assessment of Student Knowledge:

Students just entered a unit on life cycles. They have strong knowledge of animals but are lacking in knowledge of life cycles of animals. This knowledge was demonstrated by a K-W-L Chart on the life cycle.

Content-Specific Standards:


Standard 2.1: Students will observe how animals grow and changes in predictable ways. Students will understand animal life cycles and life spans

Standard 4: Students will understand and apply scientific concepts, principles, and theories pertaining to the physical setting and living environment and recognize the historical development of ideas in science.


Standard 1: Creating, Performing, and Participating in the Arts Students will actively engage in the processes that constitute creation and performance in the arts and participate in various roles in the arts.
Standard 2: Knowing and Using Arts Materials and Resources
Students will be knowledgeable about and make use of the materials and resources available for participation in the arts in various roles.


Thinking Objective: Students will discuss and identify the four stages of a butterfly.

Mastery Objective: Students will understand the life cycle from a caterpillar to a butterfly


Introduction and Motivation:

Engaging Question: What do we know about butterflies? Have you ever seen one? Touched one? What do they look like? Does anyone know what a butterfly was before it was a butterfly?

What do you know about caterpillars? What does a caterpillar look like? Have you ever touched a caterpillar? What do they fell like?

Exploration: Model: Teacher will discuss that a caterpillar turns into a butterfly. Teacher Reads Aloud “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” Stopping often to ask, “What is the first stage of a butterfly’s life?”

After reading the book the teacher will reveal pictures of the four different stages of the butterfly life cycle, periodically asking, “What do you notice about the changes in the butterfly? What did the butterfly do” How did he look or move?

Teacher explains that there are four stages that a caterpillar goes through to become a butterfly. These stages are called metamorphosis, which means change.

Students chart and discuss the four laminated pictures in order of the life cycle.

Explanation: Activity
Teacher explains to the students that they will use their bodies to demonstrate what metamorphosis looks like. They will first, become an egg, sit on the floor, grasp their knees, and tuck their head under. Next, the students will change into caterpillars by stretching out on the floor and wriggling. After that, they will stand very still and cross their arms tightly across their chest to look like the chrysalis. Finally, students will demonstrate how a butterfly gently stretches its wings and begins to flutter. Students will gently flutter around the room as butterflies.

Expansion: Independent Work:

Students will work in groups to draw, illustrate, label and describe the process of metamorphosis. After creating a cover, the students will arrange their pictures in the correct order and staple them together with the cover to make a booklet of the life cycle of a butterfly.

Closure:  Students will regroup and complete the K-W-L Chart of the life cycle of a butterfly. Each group will share with the class their life cycle booklet and discuss their observations.

Evaluation: Assessment:  Assess understanding during conference time and during the share. Ask follow up questions if students are not confident with their explanations. Evaluate students on their work sheet answers using the answer key. Rubric

For students with disabilities, it will be important to be aware of each student’s individual learning needs and testing accommodations as identified in the Individualized Education Plan

Diversity: This lesson brings abstract scientific concept into concrete instruction by use of pictures, props, and the creation of illustrations.


Using visual, kinesthetic and tactile skills, students who struggle with abstract scientific concepts are able to use their own modalities of learning to show that they understand the content. This lesson also supports concreteness of the topic with the use of pictures, labels and role-play.

As a Group:

Collaborative and Flexible grouping, scaffolding, varied time allowance, multiple intelligences, varied demonstrations, simulations, role play

Students with Disabilities:

Key points are taught explicitly, especially abstract concepts meanwhile increasing the amount of modeling, examples and practice.

Hands-on activities are used for students lacking verbal skills

Increase concreteness by adding pictures, props, labels, charge, symbols, shapes and color.

Connections Across Curriculum: Natural Science, Research, Writing, Speaking and Listening and Art.



Life Cycle of a Butterfly Project Rubric






Labels All four life cycle stages are labeled correctly. Three of the four life cycle stages are labeled correctly. Two of the four life cycle stages are labeled correctly. None of the four life cycle stages are labeled correctly.
Required Elements The booklet includes all required elements as well as additional information. All required elements are included on the booklet. All but 1 of the required elements are included on the booklet. Several required elements were missing.
Attractiveness The project is exceptionally attractive in terms of design, layout, and neatness. The project is attractive in terms of design, layout and neatness. The project is acceptably attractive though it may be a bit messy. The project is distractingly messy or very poorly designed. It is not



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