Lifecycle of an Insect: Guessing Game Created by Marie Sayles, Garden Educator Sunset Elementary, San Francisco Unified School District

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1 Lifecycle of an Insect: Guessing Game Created by Marie Sayles, Garden Educator Sunset Elementary, San Francisco Unified School District LESSON SUMMARY In this lesson, students will learn the lifecycles of five different insects through a guessing game. LESSON OBJECTIVES Students will be able to: Compare and contrast insects in their stages of life. Identify an insect in egg, larva, pupa or adult stage. ASSESSMENTS Students will: Present information on an insect lifecycle in front of the class. Work cooperatively as a team. MATERIALS Insect Lifecycle printouts for 5 different insects: butterfly, mosquito, ant, beetle, and ladybug. Insect books or other insect guides. BEFORE YOU BEGIN If possible, print out and enlarge the lifecycle so that each stage is on a separate sheet of paper. Insect Lifecycle Basics: About 90% of insects have four stages in their life cycle: Egg: Unborn stage, often hatched on a leaf. Larva: This is the eating and growing stage, the larvae often molt a number of times. Pupa: Inside the pupa, sometimes called a cocoon or chrysallis, the adult will develop inside. Adult: This is the final, breeding stage when most insects usually grow wings. Females will lay eggs.

2 About 10% of insects go through an incomplete metamorphosis, or only three stages in their lifecycle (egg, larva, adult). They do not have a pupa form -- these include dragonflies, grasshoppers and cockroaches.

3 PROCEDURES 1. Discuss the life cycle of an insect together as a class. Using a whiteboard, draw the stages of fly or other common insect: 2. Next, explain to the students that they will play a guessing game. In groups, they will learn about 4 different insects and present the stages of their insect to the rest of the class, trying to keep the insect a secret (have them cover/hide the picture of the insect in its adult stage). 3. Divide the class into 4 groups. Hand out one set of insect sheets to each group and have them find a quiet space to go and read about their insect and decide who will present which stage. 4. Bring them back together and let the groups present. After each stage is presented (the student can ready the sentence on the card, or add other facts they know) let the other students try and guess the insect. 5. If you have time, let the students go into the garden and look for evidence of insects in the various stages in the garden (eggs, larvae or caterpillars on leaves, or adults). RESOURCES Kid Info on Insects Ladybug Printouts

4 Ant Lifecycle Eggs are small white ovals and are laid by a queen. The larva molts many times as it grows. It turns into an adult and lives in a colony. A cocoon covers the pupa as it metamorphoses into an adult.

5 Butterfly Lifecycle Egg is laid on the underside of a leaf. The larva (caterpillar) eats and grows a lot. The winged adult sips liquids through a straw-like proboscis. The larva is encased in a chrysalis and hangs from a branch.

6 Darkling Beetle Lifecycle White, oval eggs hatch into a worm-like larva. The larva is hatched light golden and turns darker. It is called a mealworm. The adult emerges from the pupa then turns from brown to black. The pupa transforms itself into an adult.

7 Mosquito Lifecycle Water surface water A raft of eggs is laid on the water s surface. Larvae, called wrigglers, must live in water from 7 to 14 days. The larva eats algae and small organisms, which live in the water. The females bite animals and drink blood. Males do not bite, but feed on nectar of flowers.

8 Ladybug Lifecycle Ladybugs lay masses of tiny, yellow, elongated eggs on a leaf. The long, six-legged larvae, eats & molts (sheds its skin) many times as it grows. The female adult will lay eggs, and the cycle begins again. The pupa, about the size of the adult, wrapped up and attached to a leaf.

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