Life cycles are taught in one grade level or another, whether students are in preschool hatching chicks or in middle school looking at the frog life cycle before dissecting one. Since students seem to constantly be learning about life cycles in one grade level or another. How can you make your lessons a little different? What life cycle activities can you use in your classroom to make life cycles a little more entertaining for students? Interactive ones are the best option!
6 Interactive Life Cycle Activities
When developing your life cycle lesson plans, you want to incorporate as many interactive activities as possible. Students are more likely to internalize the information when interacting and engaging in the lesson and/or activity. So whether you are working with preschoolers on the chicken life cycle or 8th graders and teaching all the life cycles, using life cycle activities that require student interaction are best.
Interactive Life Cycle Books
Reading a book to students about the life cycle of a butterfly life cycle or plant life cycle is helpful. But, having students interact with the book is even more effective. After each of the life cycle stages, give students a page where they must use their knowledge of the stage and fill in the blanks. You could use this page as a quick informal assessment or complete it as a group activity.
Some interactive life cycle books are:
Life Cycle Experiments
If learning about a ladybug life cycle or butterfly life cycle, consider bringing in a butterfly or ladybug rearing kit. Both can easily be found online and are simple to take care of. Students will love observing them. There are even frog hatchery kits if you’re feeling brave! Try growing plants in light and complete darkness. How do their life cycles differ? Wheat seeds are great for this because they grow quickly. You can also grow bean plants inside a Ziploc baggie on paper towels. Students can easily see the steps of the plant life cycle through this experiment.
An anchor chart is a great way to get students involved in the life cycle unit. Once you have discussed each stage in a life cycle, create an anchor chart to hang in the classroom for students to review when they need it. Having students color, write, or draw the arrows on the anchor chart can make it interactive and fun. You could even put students into groups and have them each create their anchor to help them.
Life Cycle Games and Video
After getting into your life cycle unit, it’s always fun to let students play games that help them remember each life cycle step. Ecosystem For Kids has over 30 different interactive life cycle games available. Plus, under each game, there are multiple paragraphs about the animal or insect the life cycle.
If you are looking for some great life cycle videos to add to your unit plan, check out some of these:
Life Cycle Project Ideas
If you are looking for some life cycle projects or life cycle craft ideas. There are a ton of different options. An easy project is to have students create life cycle folders. The folder can show all parts of the life cycle using the interactive books mentioned above.
Some other fun life cycle projects or crafts are:
Life Cycle Readings
If you are teaching older students, it is best to have some life cycle worksheets on their level. Using these close reading passages, students will do a close read about complete and incomplete metamorphosis. You then have the option to have students use a graphic organizer to show what they learned, answer multiple choice questions, or other. It’s the perfect way to connect science and literacy. Plus, this is a high-interest, non-fiction passage and a great way to teach life cycles.
Life Cycle Activities
Teaching life cycles is a big task. There are so many of them, and finding ways to keep students engaged can take time and effort. But, using one of these 6 interactive life cycle activities will ensure students are not only listening but are learning and interacting with the materials. This will not only make the lessons more enjoyable for students but make teaching more fun for you too!
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