Lesson 4: Insect Life Cycles

Getting Started

Questions to Explore

  • How are the life cycles of plants and animals similar and different?
  • Where can cycles be found in nature?
  • What is the pattern of a cycle?

Facts and Definitions

  • A young insect may look very different from an adult insect.
  • A pupa is an insect in the non-feeding, usually immobile, transformation stage between the larva and the adult stages of the life cycle.
  • A chrysalis is the hard-shelled covering for a pupa.


  • Compare and contrast life cycles of other animals. (S)
  • Describe the life cycle of living things. (S)
  • Observe the different stages in the life cycle of a plant or animal. (S)


  • What Is a Life Cycle? by Bobbie Kalman
  • black pipe cleaner
  • bowtie pasta
  • Butterfly Kit
  • cardstock
  • construction paper* (Activity 2 - optional)
  • craft stick
  • glue
  • journal
  • markers
  • penne pasta
  • rice
  • scissors
  • shell pasta
  • toilet paper tube

* - denotes an optional material that may or may not be needed


Materials: What Is a Life Cycle? by Bobbie Kalman
Tell your child that today she will learn about the life cycles of some insects. Ask your child to give you the names of insects she knows about. Reread the section of the life cycle of a ladybug beetle on pages 12-13 in the book, What Is a Life Cycle.