Life Sciences Study
Studying life cycles is fun to do in the spring. These can be plant or animal life cycles, depending on the interests and availability of resources.
I am going to share a couple of different life cycle activities and an animal research project that I found successful and exciting for my students.
Plant Life Cycles
Plant life cycles are fun to do because kids love to watch a seed become a plant. When a vegetable seed is used, they can eat the vegetable when it is ready. They can also take the seeds and use them to start the cycle over again.
Bean plants are great to use because they grow fairly quickly and the various stages are easy to see. There are different ways to watch the changes, but a couple of ones I found worked well are the baggie and wet paper towel version and a CD case version. Both versions make it easy to see the seed sprout and the roots develop. When leaves start to develop, the seedlings can be planted in a pot to continue growing.
If you are interested in recording observations, I created this journal for my students to use and it has been popular with many other teachers as well. I also did a plant investigation product about what plants need. Check them out here.
Butterfly Life Cycle
Butterflies are fun to watch as they emerge from the chrysalis. I remember studying the butterfly life cycle with my students. They were in awe of how a caterpillar could become such a beautiful creature. We ordered Painted Lady larvae and then watched them as they moved through the life cycle. We then released the butterflies into the schoolyard.
Painted lady butterflies are found all around the world. They take only a few weeks to go from egg to butterfly so they are great to study in a classroom situation. Here is a new resource that relates to the butterfly life cycle and includes some interesting facts, posters, and activities.
Other Life Cycles
There are many other life cycles that can be explored. Several of my colleagues have studied the life cycle of a chicken and a salmon. I didn't do these myself, but I did have my classes connect with those that were studying these life cycles and this allowed for some great conversations and opportunities for the other students to share their knowledge. They enjoyed seeing the baby chicks running around the classroom.
Animal Research Project
Animal research was a big hit with my students. They were able to find out basic information and interesting facts and then use the information to create a powerpoint of their animal. Check out these templateanim
One of the most difficult parts of this research was learning to write down the main ideas in point form and use their own words when creating the project. I was really impressed with the powerpoints that they created once they understood this concept.
These are just a few of the different activities that can be studied when learning about life cycles and habits of plants and animals. Kids love investigating the world around them, so the hands on nature of these studies will engage them.
I hope you have as much fun as they do as you study plants and animals.
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About Me Charlene Sequeira
I am a wife, mother of 4, grandmother of 9, and a retired primary and music teacher. I love working with kids and continue to volunteer at school and teach ukulele.