Life Cycles


Kindergarten to 2nd grade

Engage and Assess

Participants will start their experience by watching a time-lapse video of a caterpillar transforming into a chrysalis. This video will spark a discussion about the butterfly life cycle phenomena. The facilitator will monitor the discussion and adjust the experience according to the participants’ prior knowledge and interests.


  • Observing
  • Making predictions
  • Measuring: non-standard and standard
  • Recording data
  • Using tools

Science Concepts / Standards

  • 1-LS1-2 – From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
    • Read texts and use media to determine patterns in behavior of parents and offspring that help offspring survive.
  • LS1.B – Growth and Development of Organisms
    • Reproduction is essential to the continued existence of every kind of organism. Plants and animals have unique and diverse life cycles.


  • 60-minute experience
  • Maximum of 35 students and five adults
  • Participants will work in groups of three to five
  • Hands-on activities provide participants an opportunity to investigate butterflies and build on their prior knowledge of the butterfly life cycle. Participants will use scales to weigh how much a caterpillar eats and use non-standard units to measure the size of various species of butterflies. Participants will make observations while exploring symmetry and identifying different life stages as well as the traits that help their survival. Participants will journal their predictions, record data and reflect on their experience.

Celebrating and Saving Wildlife

Participants will build empathy for butterflies through dramatic play as they act out the different stages of a butterfly’s life cycle. Participants use microscopes to look at butterfly wings to see why touching their fragile wings may be harmful them.

Take Action

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