Skip Navigation

Insect Life Cycles

Insect Life Cycles

TEKS Objective

Explore, illustrate, and compare life cycles in living organisms such as butterflies, beetles, radishes, or lima beans

View Comments (0)

Rate this Page

Essential Understanding

The student knows that organisms undergo similar life processes and have structures that help them survive within their environment.

Science Background

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.

About Bug Life Cycles
Bug Life Cycles,

Signature Lesson

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.

Butterflies in Space
BioEd Online,

Supporting Lessons

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.

University of Kentuck Integrated Pest Management,

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.

Create an Insect

Bugs! Lesson Plan: Blick (website) - Students learn about insects while exploring shape and color by creating original, whimsical bugs.

Bugs! Lesson Plan

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.

Life Cycles
Iowa State University,

Assessment Ideas

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.

Literature Connections

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)

Related Science TEKS

(4.10A) Adaptations
The student is expected to explore how structures and functions of plants and animals allow them to survive in a particular environment.

(4.10B) Inherited Traits and Learned Behaviors
The student is expected to demonstrate that some likenesses between parents and offspring are inherited, passed from generation to generation such as eye color in humans or shapes of leaves in plants. Other likenesses are learned such as table manners or reading a book and seals balancing balls on their noses

Related Math TEKS

4.13A    The student is expected to use concrete objects or pictures to make generalizations about determining all possible combinations of a given set of data or of objects in a problem situation.

4.13B    The student is expected to interpret bar graphs.

4.14A    The student is expected to identify the mathematics in everyday situations.

4.14B    The student is expected to solve problems that incorporate understanding the problem, making a plan, carrying out the plan, and evaluating the solution for reasonableness.

4.14C    The student is expected to select or develop an appropriate problem-solving plan or strategy, including drawing a picture, looking for a pattern, systematic guessing and checking, acting it out, making a table, working a simpler problem, or working backwards to solve a problem.

Additional Resources

Insectclopedia: (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.

Butterflies and Moths
Florida Museum of Natural History,

Close Comments Button


Post a Comment
Close Comments Button

TEKS Navigation

Grade 4

User Information

Forget Username or Password?

Enter your email address, we'll send it to you.

Not Registered Yet?
Sign Up Today!

Need Assistance?

If you need help or have a question please use the links below to help resolve your problem.