When we watch a caterpillar spinning a cocoon or a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis, we are witnessing part of the remarkable life cycle of an insect. Insects live their lives in stages, changing form as they develop from egg to adult. In some, young and adult are so different, it’s hard to believe they could be the same species. A caterpillar becomes a butterfly, a garden grub becomes a shiny beetle, a wingless creature crawling on the bottom of a pond becomes a dragonfly skimming above it. Is there a connection between insect life cycles and the incredible success of this group of animals? Continue reading Insect Life Cycles – Background
FOCUS: As insects develop from eggs to adult, they undergo metamorphosis, their bodies changing dramatically as they mature. Most insects go through complete metamorphosis with four distinct life stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Other insects go through simple metamorphosis with only three stages, changing from egg to nymph to adult. These tiny animals must find partners to reproduce, and they use a variety of signals to find and attract mates.
Objective: To begin to explore and ask questions about insect life cycles.
Give a variety of insects in various stages of their life cycle in small jars to children to examine in small groups, and ask what they notice and wonder about them.
Materials: a variety of live insects in various stages of their life cycle collected in small jars, magnifying lenses.
PIECE IT TOGETHER
Objective: To observe and compare the life stages in a variety of insect species, looking for patterns and sorting by type of life cycle.
Ahead of time, mount each Metamorphosis Puzzle on a different colored backing. Continue reading Insect Life Cycles – Activities
Characters: Grasshopper Egg, Grasshopper Nymph, Grasshopper Adult, Monarch Egg, Monarch Caterpillar, Monarch Chrysalis, Monarch Butterfly.
Props: Grass plant with egg, two cotton balls, “Weeks Later” sign, “Days Later” sign
Grasshopper Egg Oh me, oh my. I’m just a tiny egg in a big, dark, underground world. I’m ready for a change.
Monarch Egg I’m just a tiny egg in a big, bright, sunny world. I’m ready for a change too.
Grasshopper Egg I wonder what I’ll be when I hatch. Maybe a buzzy bee, or a dragonfly. Continue reading Insect Life Cycles – Puppet Show
INSECT LIFE CYCLES ALIGNMENT WITH
NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARDS
The activities in this unit help children understand the basic concepts in the Disciplinary Core Ideas listed here. You can use the following list as a guide for lesson planning. These Disciplinary Core Ideas are taken from Grade Band Endpoints in A Framework for K-12 Science Education. Additionally, our activities give children opportunities to engage in many of the Science and Engineering Practices and reflect on the Crosscutting Concepts as identified in the Next Generation Science Standards. Continue reading Insect Life Cycles – Standards