Spring is in full swing and that means so is our life cycle unit! Life cycles is my favorite science unit of the year! We have so much to cover, so I rely on engaging text, fun crafts, and BrainPop Jr. to help my kiddos make connections to the content!
Let's start with insects...
I begin insect week by making a KWL chart, watching BrainPop Jr. on insects, and reading Fly Guy Presents: Insects. Throughout the week, I like to read books by National Geographic Kids on different insects. The insects I focus on are butterflies, ants, and bees. I like the book about the butterfly migration because it helps explain another aspect of the Monarch butterfly life cycle. The book A Butterfly is Patient is also a great book to use when teaching about the butterfly life cycle. I plan on reading that book tomorrow since our caterpillars have all just formed their chrysalises.
The book Puppy to Dog is a great book for teaching about the life cycle of a mammal. It is two books in one. If you start from the back of the book, you can read from kitten to cat. My Book of Life Cycles has many different life cycles included. My kids like this book because of the variety of animals mentioned. They love to compare different animal life cycles!
A life cycle unit isn't complete without a week long plant investigation! I like to read A Seed is Sleepy, A Fruit is a Suitcase for Seeds, From Seed to Plant, and National Geographic Kids Seed to Plant.
I also like to keep materials consistent each week, so my students know what to expect. This helps them stay organized. For each life cycle, we complete a flip book to help us describe each stage in the life cycle. I also keep a life cycle poster hanging on our science wall for students to refer back to. You can find National Geographic Kids Frogs! here.
With our plant unit, in addition to learning about the life cycle, we also plant lima bean seeds and observe their growth.
You can find my life cycle units in my TPT store. The unit pictured above is a freebie! If you download the life cycle of a dog, it will give you a good look at what the other units include!