You can teach this metamorphosis lesson plan when you are teaching a unit on insects. It can also be taught on its own. After teaching this lesson, students will be able to distinguish between complete and incomplete metamorphosis. Students will also be able to identify insects that go through each one.
Science textbook or Metamorphosis: Changing Bodies by Bobbie Kalman
Construction paper (12×18)
Chart paper (optional)
Brainstorm a list of insects on the chalkboard or chart paper. Put everything on the list, even if they are not insects. You can correct any misconceptions later.
You will either read from your Science textbook about metamorphosis, or you can read the Metamorphosis: Changing Bodies book. Read the information, stopping to discuss the important points, such as what insects go through complete metamorphosis and what insects go through incomplete metamorphosis. You can also discuss other animals that go through metamorphosis. Also, go back to the chart and correct any misconceptions that are there.
When you have finished reading the book, talk about metamorphosis. Define what it is, and talk about the stages of both. Discuss the main differences between complete and incomplete metamorphosis. Make a t-chart on the chalkboard or using the chart paper that highlights the important points of each one.
Explain that today students are going to make metamorphosis posters. Pass out the construction paper and the crayons and markers. Have students divide their paper in half. Have students make a t-chart that shows the main characteristics of complete and incomplete metamorphosis. Then, at the bottom of each side, have them draw an illustration that shows the stages of both. For example, on the complete metamorphosis side, draw a circle that shows all the stages with illustrations for each stage. Have them place arrows between each stage and have them label the stages too. Then, have them do the same thing for the incomplete metamorphosis side.
Allow students to get creative when making their posters, making sure that they put all the necessary information on them. Circulate and assist as necessary. These posters will make a great hallway decoration, or you can use them as a bulletin board display. A good bulletin board title would be, “BIG Changes."
Pass out a sheet of notebook paper to each student. Have them write the stages of complete metamorphosis. Then, have them write the stages of incomplete metamorphosis. Have them list one insect that goes through each type. It is up to you if you want the students to draw an example of each too.
Continue to teach about insects. Teach about the characteristics of insects, such as how they are identified, their habitat, and their diet.
Teach about the stages of metamorphosis in depth. Teach about what happens during each stage.