A 60 minute lesson in which students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of simple life cycles.
This lesson contains a link to an external video. Please watch the video prior to presenting this lesson to ensure that the content is appropriate for your students.
Revisit the following hypothesis: Young animals look like mini-versions of their parents. Discuss whether all animals begin life in the same way. Guide the students to think about animals which hatch from eggs. Ask the students:
Where do animals lay eggs?
How many eggs do animals lay?
If you found some eggs, what clues would you use to identify them?
Place the students into pairs and distribute the Eggs-ellent Dominoes. Explain that some of the animals represented in the dominoes do not lay eggs. Allow the students to play the game in pairs, encouraging them to justify the decisions they make during the game e.g. the eggs are floating in the water, so they could be a frog’s eggs.
Introduce the term ‘live young’ (as opposed to hatching from an egg). Display the See, Think, Wonder Template and discuss the headings. Explain to the students that they will be viewing a video, then completing the chart with a partner.
Review the Scientific Method Poster – Lower Grades. Remind the students that, when thinking like a scientist, the first step is to make observations. Stress that, in completing the first column of the chart, they will simply record what is seen (without any inference).
Students watch and listen to the Our Chickens Hatching video on YouTube. At the end of the video, place the students into pairs allow them time to record their ideas. Afterwards, encourage the students to share their wonderings. Discuss how they might go about finding answers to their questions.
Display the Comparing a Chick with a Hen Template. As a class, compare the features and behaviors of a chick and a hen and record these on the template. Add labels to the diagrams on the template to highlight the comparisons being made.
Introduce the term ‘life stages’. Draw a representation of the life stages of a chicken on the board. Show arrows connecting the stages in a line (either horizontally or vertically) and discuss the significance of the arrows. Afterwards, illustrate the same life stages as a cycle (that is, in a circle) and explain that, as a species, the cycle keeps repeating.
Provide the students with a copy of the Sequencing Life Cycles Worksheet. Read the information strips as a class and check that the students understand the task instructions.
Monitor and support the students as they independently complete the life cycles by cutting and pasting the pictures and text into the appropriate template in the correct sequence.
Arrange the students into a ‘donut’ reflection circle to consolidate their learning in the unit thus far. Place the students in two concentric circles (like a donut), with those in the inner circle facing those the outer circle. The student closest to them in the opposing circle is their partner. Guide the students’ reflection by prompting them with questions, such as:
What have you learned that you didn’t know before?
What has surprised you?
What have you really enjoyed learning about?
Why are you learning about this?
After the students have shared their answer to a question with their partner, the outer circle moves clockwise so that everyone has a new partner. This continues several times before a new prompt is given.
Encourage more capable students to research and draw a simple life cycle for another animal which does not lay eggs.
Support less confident students by allowing them to complete the worksheet in a small group with adult support.
Suggested Assessment Strategies
used strategic whole class or individual questioning
observed student participation during learning activities