Lesson plan developed by Ms. Erika Geelhoed, BA Ed
* Lesson plan objective and assessment can be adapted to use this activity with preschoolers.
Students will know that animals have life cycles that include being born; developing into juveniles, adolescents, then adults; reproducing (which begins a new cycle); and eventually dying. The details of the life cycle are different for different animals.
- Begin lesson by asking children what they already know about how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly (you can create a KWL chart with the children for this activity if you wish).
- Read From Caterpillar to Butterfly with them discussing as you go.
- Next, start your metamorphosis craft.
- Call on the children to list the stages in order (you can write these down for them if needed).
- Instruct them to use the different types of noodles, leaves, and sticks to represent the different stages beginning with the egg stage.
- As children are working, you can assess them using the provided checklist.
- Print Macaroni Metamorphosis Lesson Assessment Checklist
- Make note of which directions the children got correct and which ones they struggled with. Revisit directions with them if needed.
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Science in the Classroom
Science is not just a set of facts that have already been discovered by others; it is a process – a way of thinking and understanding the world. It is observing, predicting what might happen, testing those predictions, and making sense of observations. They must create an explanation of observed phenomena or the outcomes of the experiments internally—an explanation that holds personal meaning” (Trawick-Smith, p. 203). As children are exploring the scientific process, teachers can pose open-ended questions that may spark more questions or a new direction to explore. “Good quality education encourages the exploration of alternative thinking, multiple answers, and creative insights” (Jensen, p. 16).
Allowing and encouraging young children to explore the scientific process—rather than only using direct instruction that emphasizes science facts and prescriptive experiments—will promote the development of thinking skills such as organizing and classifying, problem solving, reasoning, and logic.