I started this lesson with a video showing that all living things have a life cycle. I wanted my students to make the connection that all living things, specifically plants and animals, all go through some sort of life cycle. I started with an overview of plants using this YouTube video:
By the time students are in the third grade, they have come across some information on the life cycle of a butterfly. For this reason, I chose to compare a life cycle they may be familiar with to an insect they know but have never studied, the grasshopper. I created a PowerPoint,Life cycle of a butterfly vs. the lifecycle of a grasshopper. The Life cycle PowerPoint gives me the opportunity of touching upon different learning styles, as well as keeping the lesson on track and engaging. The PowerPoint also gives them many opportunities to think-pair-share because they are all engaged in the lesson.
In order for my students to explore the life cycles of both the butterfly and the grasshopper, they first learned about the life cycle of the butterfly and then modeled it using a flow chart I created,Life cycle of a butterfly, which they glued in their notebooks for future reference. We then looked at the life cycle of the grasshopper and used a flow chart, Life cycle of a grasshopper, which they also glued into their notebooks. This process allowed them to use the information learned in order to move to the final portion of the lesson where we compared and contrasted the life cycles of the butterfly and the grasshopper. You can see here that students Illustrated both of the life cycles.
I asked at the beginning of the lesson " Are all life cycles the same?" The students initially said "yes", however, by comparing the life cycles of these two insects they realized that, though they are both insects, their life cycles have many differences and many similarities. They completed a reflection page I created for this lesson, Compare and contrast life cycle of butterfly and grasshopper which includes questions that led them to a deeper discussion on what the implications would be if they did not have a life cycle. These are just two examples of some of the completed Compare and Contrast pages. Bringing it back and expanding on our original question, students answered What would happen if there were no life cycle? and What would happen if insects did not have a life cycle? You can see in the videos that the students are actually building and expanding on what was shared by their classmates, I am the facilitator they are running the discussion.