How Will I Grow and Change?

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SWBAT describe the many ways people grow and change during their lives and compare how people are alike and different at different stages of life.

Big Idea

Living things grow and change.

Setting the Stage

National Science State Standards:

Like other animals, humans have a life cycle. A life cycle includes: birth, development, adulthood, reproduction, and death. Parents pass physical characteristics to their offspring. This lesson is imperative because students make a connection about how people grow and change as they complete a model of a human life cycle. 

Science and Engineering Practices:

SP 8 addresses obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information. In the early grades, students  analyze and critique their work and others. As students continue to work like scientists, it is imperative that they learn how to communicate scientific findings. This lesson permits students to write scientifically about the human life cycle.

Also, the lesson addresses SP 2: developing and using models. Modeling in K–2 builds on prior experiences and progresses to include using and developing models such as a diagram. In this lesson, students draw and label a sequence of a human life cycle to show the stages. Also, they write complete sentences that go along with the drawings.  

Background Knowledge:

The human body grows, changing in both shape and size, from infancy to about the age of twenty. Growth is rapid during the first year of life. Weight will triple and height will increase by half before a child turns one.

When a baby is born, its head is 25% of its total body height. As the baby grows, the body’s proportions will change. Arms, legs and torso grow so that the head becomes 12.5% of the body’s size in an adult.

During childhood, the growth rate is steady. It speeds up again between the ages of 10 and 16 when the child’s body matures and becomes adult. This stage is called puberty.

The adult body does not change much but may experience weight gain, shrinking, skin wrinkles, and loss of hair and muscle.

Guiding Question(s):

Remember a time when you were smaller. How are you different now?



20 minutes

In order for students to recognize and understand how their bodies will grow and change in many ways, I show them a video about the Human Life Cycle,  The video is shown to assist my visual learners. After the video, I invite students to discuss how people have grown and changed. (Examples: You are taller. You are stronger and heavier.)

While the students sit at their desks, they are asked if they remember a time when they were smaller. How are you different now? I pose this question to set the stage for a prediction of how they grow and change.

I tell my students to listen carefully to my instructions and follow the steps in the process. First, write the title “My foot now” on the left side of your paper and draw a line down the middle of your paper as a separator. I demonstrate writing the title on the board to model how it should look on their papers.

Next, sit your paper on the floor in front of you and place your left foot on the paper. Bend down on your right knee and take your pencil and trace around your shoe being careful not to rip your paper.

Finally, stand up with your paper and sit in your desk placing your paper on your desk. Let’s examine your shoe print. I tell the students to recognize that this is how your foot looks now as it suggests in the title on your paper. This exploration can be modified allowing the students to partner up and trace each others shoes on the paper as well.

I ask the students to predict what their foot will look like when you grow up. I review with the students what we previously discussed that as you get older, you get taller, stronger and heavier. You are growing and changing. Now on the right side of your paper write the words “My foot when I grow up.” I ask the students to draw a picture of what your foot look like when you get older, allowing students 3-5 minutes to draw their foot. Now we compare both of your feet. How are they alike and how are they different? What will happen to your feet as you continue to grow and change? I explain that this is an exploration into the differences and similarities of growth and change over time.




25 minutes

While students sit at their desks, I use the document camera for them to observe photos of my son as an infant, toddler, and teenager. The students are invited to describe how he looks and what kinds of things that he did at each stage.  I use my son because they are familiar with him because he attended my school.  Also, this allows students to make a more personal connection.

Students are asked the following questions: How did he change?  What happens during each stage? What are the next stages of his life cycle?  Students begin to understand the life cycle, baby, infant, toddler, young child, teenager, adult, and death. 

Then I tell them that my son is my offspring. I gave birth to him.  Then I asked this question:  How are we alike and how are we different? This question is asked so students can understand that all living things can pass on characteristics  to their offspring. This is why parents and there children may have the same similarities. 

To understand how people are different, students are invited to tell how they are different from one another. I want students to realize that as we grow, our bodies change. We may develop differences that make us different from other people.

Students are passed out a flow chart, so students can draw a sequence of pictures to show the stages of a human life cycle. Students label each of the stages.


5 minutes

I take up the students flow charts. In evaluating the flow charts, I am observing to see that students draw and label  each stage: baby, toddler, young child, teenager, or adult. Also, I am looking for physical changes: increased height, facial features, and hair texture.