Insect Life Cycles
Explore, illustrate, and compare life cycles in living organisms such as butterflies, beetles, radishes, or lima beans
The student knows that organisms undergo similar life processes and have structures that help them survive within their environment.
Insect: Wikipedia (website) - Detailed information about insect physiology, life cycles, behaviors and more.
About Bug Life Cycles: Bug Life Cycles (website) - Large collection of photos, organized by species, that illustrates different stages of insect life cycle stages. Non-insects, such as spiders, are also included.
Butterflies in Space: BioEd Online (website) - Create classroom habitats for painted lady butterflies and observe, explore and investigate their life cycle. Do real science in your classroom by asking questions about butterfly behavior and comparing the behaviors of your ground-based butterflies to those of the “butterflynauts” that flew on the International Space Station. The page includes a downloadable teacher guide and a short introductory video.
- Supporting Lessons
- Assessment Ideas
- Literature Connections
- Additional Resources
BUG-GO: University of Kentucky Integrated Pest Management (website) - Bingo-type game that teaches students about insects and helps them to identify certain insects while learning which ones are beneficial.
Create an Insect: Orkin (PDF) - To demonstrate his or her knowledge of insects and their characteristics, each student will create a unique insect, write a descriptive paragraph noting any special adaptations or features of the insect.
Bugs! Lesson Plan: Blick (website) - Students learn about insects while exploring shape and color by creating original, whimsical bugs.
Elaboration Lessons and Extensions
Life Cycles: Iowa State University (website) - Students learn the life cycles of four different types of insects: mealworm/beetle, butterflies and moths, crickets, silverfish. They also care for one insect and observe its life cycle.
Have each student select an insect, construct a chart that illustrates the life cycle of that insect, and label and describe the life cycle stages shown.
The Life Cycle of Insects. Gray, Susan (ISBN-13: 978-1432949907)
El Didlo de Vida de los Insectos = Insect Life Cycles (Mundo de los Insectos). Aloian, Molly and Kalman, Bobbie (ISBN-13: 978-0778785156)
Pet Bugs: A Kid’s Guide to Catching and Keeping Touchable Insects. Kneidel, Sally (ISBN-13: 978-0471311881)
Mosquitoes. Markle, Sandra (ISBN-13: 978-0822589884)
Insectclopedia: PedagoNet.com (website) - Directory with links to a wealth of lessons relating to insects, listed alphabetically and by grade level.
Butterflies: Florida Museum of Natural History (PDF) - Detailed Guide with information focusing on butterflies.