Individual Lesson Plan: Life Cycle of a Butterfly Essay


In this lesson, 2nd grade students will participate in a class on the life cycle of a butterfly. Students will learn standards-aligned science concepts and also benefit from cross-curricular instruction, through the incorporation of reading, writing, and hands-on activities. These modalities will be used to help students understand the concept of the life cycle and make real-life connections to the human life cycle. The lesson will last for approximately forty-five minutes. The lesson will be taught within a small suburban school of approximately 650 students, ranging from kindergarten to 5th grade.

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
Individual Lesson Plan: Life Cycle of a Butterfly Essay
Order Essay

The school currently is receiving Title 1 funds, with 70% of its students on free or reduced breakfast and lunch. The school is currently in good standing and has met AYP for the past two years. There are a total of 20 students in the class, which displays the following demographics: 50% Caucasian, 20% African-American, 20% Hispanic and 10% Asian. The class distribution includes 12 boys and 8 girls, and a total of 5 ELLs. Two students have an active IEP, and five students have been identified as gifted and talented.

The language level of the students is classified as the elementary or intermediate level of English language proficiency.

Description of Lesson:

Lesson: Butterfly Life Cycle
Time Allotment:
This lesson will be taught in one forty-five minute class period.
Content Objectives:

By the completion of this lesson students will meet two objectives. Students will be able to identify the four life cycle stages of a butterfly. Also, all students will be able to list the stages of the butterfly life cycle in order.

Language Objectives:

The second grade students will also meet two language objectives by the end of this lesson. Students will identify the Greek roots of certain vocabulary words. Students will also define the term “compound words”.

State Standards:

The student will investigate and understand that plants and animals undergo a series of orderly changes as they mature and grow. (Grade two content science standards, 2007).

Key Vocabulary:

In this lesson students will become familiar with a variety of key vocabulary words to include the following: Oval egg, caterpillar, larva, metamorphosis, chrysalis, pupa, imago, forewing, wingtip, hindwing, margin, abdomen, thorax, proboscis, antennae, and wing base.


Students will use several materials in order to complete this lesson, which are listed as the following: paper bag, small plastic representations of butterfly stages to put in paper bag, KWL graphic organizer, computer stations with internet access for ESL students, clay, utensils to carve into clay, Greek root/compound word identification assessment sheet, life cycle stage and body part labeling assessment sheet.

SIOP Features:
This lesson will utilize the following SIOP features:
SIOP Features:
PreparationScaffoldingGrouping Options
___ Adaptation of Content_X_ ModelingX Whole Class
_X_ Links to Background___ Guided practice___ Small Group ————————————————-
_X_Links to Past Learning___ Independent PracticeX Partners
___ Strategies Incorporated_X_ Comprehensible Input___ Independent ————————————————-


This lesson begins by drawing on information students have recently learned in previous lessons about shapes and textures as well as student background knowledge about butterflies, the focus of this lesson. Before the students arrive in the classroom, the teacher will place small plastic representations of butterflies in a paper bag; a total of 4 models representing the four life stages of butterflies will be placed in the bag. When the students arrive, the instructor should begin with the following exercise, which is designed to capture student interest and highlight key vocabulary words in a “kid-friendly” manner in order to increase comprehensible input.

The instructor should close the bag and shake it, after which students should take turns putting their hands in the bag to feel the models. The teacher should ask the students to describe the shape and texture of what they feel, offering the options of “square”, “oval”, triangular”, “rod-shaped”, “smooth”, “rough”, and “fuzzy”, for example. The teacher should remind the students of the definitions of these words and ask the students to guess what they are feeling in the bag, writing all the guesses on the board.

Once all students have had a turn, the instructor will reveal the models and explain that they represent the different life stages of a butterfly, emphasizing how the organism takes on different forms and textures depending on the stage it is in. The instructor will then engage the students in a 3-minute whole class discussion about their experience with butterflies, after which he should present the content and language objectives for this lesson.

Lesson Focus:

The teacher will present a KWL graphic organizer on the white board, explain that it will be used to help understand the literature on butterflies that they will soon read, and then model how it should be completed, using the teacher’s own background knowledge about butterflies. The sample graphic organizer should remain on the board to be used as a reference while students complete their own sheets.

Guided Practice:

The teacher will lead the class to the computer lab, KWL charts in hand, and pair students in heterogeneous strong language/low language couples before instructing them to log onto the website. The instructor should walk around the room, observing student progress and giving extra help to pairs with ELL’s who might be struggling to gain understanding from the website or completing the KWL chart. ELL students who seem to be having great difficulty reading should be shown how to read the literature in their native language if it is one of the options.

After the reading, students will return to the classroom where the teacher will lead a grand discussion on the vocabulary words that students encountered, giving a mini-lesson on compound words when reviewing the terms “wingtip”, “hindwing”, and “forewing” and a mini-lesson on words with Greek roots and their root definitions when reviewing the terms “metamorphosis” and “chrysalis.” For the purpose of engaging ELL students whose native language is Latin-based, the teacher should explain how many English cognates, alternatives to more colloquial terms, are very similar to the counterparts in the ELL’s first language, giving the example of the word “calculate” as opposed to the term “figure out”.

Independent Practice:

The teacher will explain that the class will now do individual projects involving the creation of butterfly models. The teacher should show completed clay models of the four stages of a butterfly life cycle and then demonstrate, using new clay and carving utensils, how to create a butterfly in its final stage so students understand the desired size and extent of detail. The instructor should then post pictures of the butterfly stages on a readily visible board and distribute the materials to students (clay and carving utensils). The teacher will then walk through the room, aiding students as necessary in the creation of their models.


After creating the models, the students will be assessed to determine if they have achieved the content and language objectives. Individually, the students will complete a multiple choice test assessing their ability to identify compound words and the definition of “metamorphosis” and “chrysalis” as well as a sheet on which the student will be required to label the life cycle stages and the body parts of a butterfly. Students should spend no more than 10 minutes on both assessments, but ESL’s will be given an extra five minutes to complete them. Students will receive a percentage score on both assessments and must receive at least an 85% on either test to demonstrate mastery of the material.


At the conclusion of this lesson, students will be able to identify the various stages of the life cycles of a butterfly. Students will also understand that all living things have a life cycle, and specific attributes of the life cycle stages vary from one species to the next.

This lesson utilizes not only content-based instruction but also sheltered instruction, which helps to promote English language proficiency, in part by rendering the information being presented more readily comprehensible. It is designed to educate English language learners, as well as the general student population.

According to Echevarria, Vogt, and Short (2008), “ELLs must pull together their emerging knowledge of the English language with the content knowledge they are studying in order to complete the academic task” (p. 6). Throughout the lesson, students will learn science concepts and also benefit from cross-curricular instruction through the incorporation of reading and writing into the lesson.

As an extension activity, students will take a field trip to the Museum of Science, where they will be able to see the similarities and differences between various species’ life cycles, including egg development, plant growth, and metamorphosis. Students will then participate in a post-test life cycle activity, to reinforce learned concepts, and address any gaps in comprehension.

Common Wealth of Virginia Board of Education. (n.d.). English standards of learning. Retrieved from Commonwealth of Virginia Board of Education. (2003). Science standards of learning curriculum framework . Retrieved from Echevarria, J., Vogt, M., & Short, D. (2008). Making content comprehensible for English learners: The SIOP® model (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon. The Children’s Butterfly Site. (n.d.). Retrieved from

You may also be interested in the following: lesson plan in mapeh

Still stressed from student homework?
Get quality assistance from academic writers!