Compare and Contrast Life Cycles

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SWABT compare and contrast the life cycles of plants and animals and determine why its important.

Big Idea

When teaching, some content is presumed to be taught and learned and this is not always the case. In this lesson, students review some key content that was based on previous grade level learning and would help us as we learn new material.

What You Know

5 minutes

To begin the lesson I ask students to get out their science journal so that they can begin with a brainstorm to warm up their brain. Once they are ready, I ask them to draw a life cycle that they have learned. I reassure them that they can get as many parts or pieces that they remember about a specific life cycle. I give the class a few minutes to draw their life cycle into their journal. 

How About a Human

10 minutes

We then discuss the few cycles that they came up with. As the class shares, I ask the others to confirm or give feedback on each life cycle we talk about to make sure we have good details. I notice that from this activity most students can discuss the life cycle of a butterfly and of a frog. To push their thinking, and to also increase the vocabulary needed to understand life cycles, I give them a question to ponder. I ask the class to tell me the basic (key word basic) life cycle of a human. Students begin talking about toddlers and teenagers, they even throw out the idea of tween. I then ask them to think of it in a more basic sense. I want to know where do we start. I then will add each phase at a slower pace as I prompt them along.  

Plant and Animal Life Cycles

10 minutes

With the establishment of the human life cycle, I ask them to read with me the vocabulary we used. We begin as infants, then move through a growth phase, we become adults, and then begin to decline as we get older. I go over that this is the basic cycle of life for all living things. To prove it, I ask them to help through the stages of a flowers life cycle. When we finish, I go through and look for out infant-growth-adult-decline pattern. 

Compare and Contrast to Discuss

10 minutes

With confirmation that the plant life cycle does follow our pattern. I ask the class to work in pairs to determine how plant and animals life cycles are similar and different. They can complete their comparisons using a Venn diagram. I ask the class to work on the diagram in their science journal. THey can brainstorm and add their thoughts initially to a white board and place their finished product into their journal. We then discuss what they came up with by collecting each groups ideas in a class Venn diagram on our white board. The class can then confirm and correct each other as they work through their understanding of life cycles.