A 60 minute lesson in which students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the stages of the human life cycle.
Prior to conducting the lesson, find photographs of yourself (which you would be willing to share with the students) at contrasting stages of development e.g. as a baby, toddler, school-aged child and adult.
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 Portrait of Vince, 0-14 yearsvideo on YouTube. Pause the video every minute or so and discuss how Vince’s appearance has changed. At the end of the video, ask the students:
Would the changes we observed be similar for all humans?
Do humans ever stop growing? When? Why?
What behaviors change over time (that is, what we can and cannot do)?
What behaviors would change after Vince is 14 years old?
Use a ’round robin’ to generate ideas on how humans grow and change. Arrange the students into groups of three or four. Each group nominates a scribe to record the group’s ideas on a piece of paper. Ensure that the students are recording both changes in appearance and changes in behavior. After a few minutes brainstorming, each group’s paper is passed onto the next group. They read the ideas and attempt to add new suggestions in the next round. Ideas cannot be repeated once they have already been added to a previous sheet.
Display the photos of yourself at four stages of development – baby, toddler, school-aged child and adult – without revealing who the subject is. Ask the students:
Who do you think this is? Why?
What identifying features do you notice?
What changes to body structure do you notice?
Discuss interesting facts about how the human body changes e.g. baby teeth/adult teeth, nose and ears continue to grow, bone density throughout life, skin growth.
Provide the students with a copy of the My Life Stages‘Lift the Flap’ Template. Explain to the students that they are going to focus on the changes experienced at the baby, toddler, school-aged child and adult stages of development. For each stage, they must write a description of a physical change and a behavioral change. On the upper flaps, they must draw themselves at each stage (predicting their appearance as an adult) and label any relevant features.
Monitor and support the students as they complete this task. Once they have finished, collect the students’ templates. These could be included in a portfolio of work samples and used to assess the students’ understanding of the unit objectives.
To revise the stages of the human life cycle, play a game of ‘Guess the Life Stage’. Choose a student to sit at the front of the class where they cannot see the stage of development written on the board. The class volunteers ten clues to assist the student in identifying the life stage. Clues may be physical or behavioral.
Encourage more capable students to design a list of questions they could ask their parents in relation to how they have grown and changed e.g. when they lost their first tooth, what their favorite toy was as a baby, when they started to drive a car.
Allow less confident students to complete their lift the flap template in a small group with adult support.
Suggested Assessment Strategies
used strategic whole class or individual questioning
observed student participation during learning activities