Monday, September 12, 2011

Annotated Bib - Animal & Plant Life Cycles

Animal life cycles are important for students to understand how things grow! Students begin to learn about animal life cycles in the second grade. Through animal and plant life cycles students begin to understand the process by which animals and plants change and that there is a continuous cycle.

Hummingbird Nest: A Journal of Poems. By Kristine O'Connell George. Illus. by Barry Moser. 2004. 48p. Harcourt, Inc. (0152023259). Gr. 1-3.
This is a great book of poems about a mother hummingbird, her nest and the process of her baby hummingbird being born! The poems are written from observations of the author's daughter and the illustrations are beautiful.

The Story Goes On. By Aileen Fisher. Illus. by Mique Moriuchi. 2005. 32p. Roaring Brook Press, (978-1596430372). Gr. 2-3.
This book introduces the life cycle in a really simple and fun way. There is lots of rhyming and the pictures depict the life cycle beautifully. The last two pages bring it all together demonstrating that the life cycle continues on.

Ten Seeds. By Alfred A. Knopf. Illus. by the author. 2001. 20p. Anderson Press, (978-1849392518). Gr. K.
This is an adorable counting book that also incorporates a plant's life cycle. The story starts off with tens seeds and follows them as they begin to grow and are reduced by other animals etc. Ultimately the sunflower grows and brings you back to 10 with its new seeds. The images are all water color and fun for students to read.

What's in that Egg? A Book About Life Cycles. By Becky Baines. 2009. 32p. National Geographic, (978-1426304088). Gr.2-4.
This National Geographic has great pictures illustrating animal eggs and what could be inside them. They cover several animals that will appeal to children and at the end add a bunch of questions for children to think about in regards to life cycles.

Where Butterflies Grow. By Joanne Ryder. Illus. by Lynne Cherry. 1996. 32p. Puffin, (978-0140558586). Gr. 3-4.
Just like the title, this book takes students through the process of how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. The author does a really nice job of using descriptive words and images to help students understand the process of a butterfly.

Animal Life Cycle
Although the layout of this website is extremely busy and not my favorite, there are TONS of worksheets & printables for students about animal life cycles.
**This is a subscription site**

Cycles of Life
This is a fun game for students to play. They must figure out how the life cycle starts and drag the image to the correct box, making sure it is in order.

Plant Life Cycle
This is a YouTube video about the plant life cycle. Would be useful in a lesson or choosing section of it for a lesson.

The Life Cycle of Plants
This is a great website for students to experiment with plant life cycles. There are several games where students are asked questions to identify a plant, put together a flower and there are also down loadable worksheets.

The Life Cycle of Plants Power Point
I found this powerpoint online and really liked how it was put together. It is very detailed without being boring and reviews a lot of the important vocabulary. I thought this would be great for a teacher to incorporate into a lesson plan.

Watch It Grow
This is a really fun interactive website where kids can pick seeds to plant in the garden and "watch" them grow. Once they have grown, students can click on any of the vocabulary words listed above to learn more about roots, flowers, stems etc.

For Teachers
VA Standards of Learning
2.4 The student will investigate and understand that plants and animals undergo a series of orderly changes as they mature and grow. Key concepts include
a) animal life cycles; and
b) plant life cycles

Background Information from the Curriculum Framework
  • Throughout their lives, plants and animals undergo a series of orderly and identifiable changes.
  • Changes in organisms over time occur in cycles and differ among the various plants and animals.
  • Some animals, such as mealworms, pill bugs, frogs, and butterflies go through distinct stages as they mature to adults. Other animals, such as crickets, praying mantises, gray squirrels, and white-tailed deer, resemble their parents from birth to maturity and do not have distinct stages.
  • The basic stages in the life cycle of flowering plants include: seeds, germination of the seed, growth of the stem and roots, growth of leaves, growth of flowers, fertilization (pollination) of the flowers, production of fruit/new seeds, and death.

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