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Students will recognize that reptiles lay eggs, are born in miniature, grow and change without metamorphosis, reproduce, and die.

Big Idea

Reptiles share basic life cycle characteristics with all other living things.

Engage: What Animals Lay Eggs?

20 minutes

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.


Explore: Lizards, Turtles, Tortoises, and Snakes

45 minutes

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.