Going deeper… lifecycles

visual_lifecycles_image

Lifecycles

Download the visual resource that accompanies the session below.

Activity A

Show the class the WWT ‘Lifecycles’ visual. This shows how three different animals start life and grow. A goose, a frog and a ladybird. Identify which lifecycle shows which animal. Talk through each lifecycle, explaining how the animal starts life, grows and is then an adult.

  • Frogs are born as eggs, also called ‘frog spawn’. When the eggs are ready, they hatch and turn into tadpoles which swim in water. Next the tadpole grows some legs and arms and starts to climb out of the water sometimes. Now it is called a froglet. The froglet grows in size and as it does its legs and arms get bigger and stronger and its tail disappears. It is then an adult frog and finally it will go on to lay frog spawn.
  • Ladybirds start life in tiny little eggs on a leaf. The egg hatches into a larva. The larva eats and grows into a pupa. The pupa becomes an adult ladybird and finally the ladybird lays more little, tiny eggs on a leaf.
  • A goose starts life in an egg, the egg hatches, and out comes a little gosling. Gosling is the name for a baby goose. The gosling then grows, some of its colours change and it is then an adult goose. The adult goose lays eggs.

Allow learners time to ask questions and describe the lifecycles.

Does a tadpole look like a frog? (No).

Does a gosling look like a goose? (Same shape but different colour and size).

Is the ladybird pupa the same colours as a ladybird? (The pupa is more of an orange than the red of the ladybird but you can see the ladybird spots).

Activity B

Cut out two or three copies of the WWT ‘Lifecycles’ visual so that each learner has a ‘stage’ from any of the lifecycles on the visual. Learners have to find peers who have cut-outs from the same lifecycle e.g. learners holding the cut out of a ladybird, eggs, larva and a pupa would stand together. Ask them to stand in a circle in the correct order. Challenge learners to create a verbal explanation of the lifecycle they have just created.

Less time?

Just do section B

Have a whole afternoon?

Extend section B by saying the word ‘egg’. All learners with an egg, have to group together. Say the word ‘adult’. All learners with a goose, ladybird or frog have to group together.  Say the word ‘young’. All learners with a tadpole, froglet, gosling, larva or pupa have to group together.

Go outside

Ask learners to look at the WWT ‘Lifecycles’ visual, choose an animal and then make its’ eggs out of clay or playdough. Alternatively, they could think back to their recent visit to WWT and choose an animal they learned about there that lays eggs. Tell them to try to be very accurate e.g. Ladybird eggs should be very small, they could use a pencil to make a dot in the middle of frog spawn, or mould the goose eggs to be oval rather than just spherical. Go outside and ask learners to place their eggs in a suitable home.

Can you make a nest for goose eggs? Can you find some leaves for ladybird eggs? The water tray could be transformed into a pond for the frogspawn. It is important that we know about the places animals have their babies so we can protect them, for many more animals in the future to start their lives and bring up their young.