At the start of this lesson, I avoid telling students that we will be studying reptiles today. I do tell them that we will be studying a different animal group (class) and that I want them to pay attention to behaviors and adaptations of these animals, as well as similarities and differences between their life cycles. Then I show them this short video, with built in pauses, to get them thinking more about our starting question: What animals lay eggs? The video quickly reveals that today's topic is reptiles.
Students then pick a reptile group or specific species of interest, and make a poster or write a paragraph that describes or shows its life cycle. Students also need to add at least 5 interest facts, in their own words, about the habitat and behavior of the reptile or reptile group.
Here is Sample Student page. The student did a small amount of research on a local snake and then wrote a 1 paragraph report. They still need draw the life cycle of a snake underneath.
Here are some different examples of footage that could be used to help students engage with this content. This is a corn snake baby hatching, (1 min), here is a Leopard Gecko Hatching, this is a pchamelon hatching, and this shows baby sea turtles hatchlings running toward the ocean. Finally, here is a video titled: Camera Captures the Birth of 14 Black Mambas from the Smithsonian channel. I am including it because it is interesting but it is a video that I use selectively, depending on the personality of my class. I do not like students to focus on the most sensational or dangerous animals, as it gives them a skewed understanding of the natural world that helps nobody.