Friday, February 1, 2013

Metamorphosis and life cycles

This week we began looking at the fruit fly life cycle. I brought several vials and bottles each containing eggs, larvae, pupae, or adults. Students used magnifying glasses to identify each of the life cycle stages and to also draw pictures of what they noticed about adult fruit flies. (The drawing to the right was done by a kindergartner who attempted to make careful note of the number of legs and the eye color of her chosen fruit fly.) We talked about many different types of organisms that undergo metamorphosis including: insects, amphibians, fish, and plants. The students are excited to track the timing of the fruit fly life cycle in their classroom. They will recording the different transitions that they notice in the vials, from egg to adulthood in about 2 weeks time!

Predator-prey board game

Last week we played a modified chutes and ladders game. I based it on the owl food web. As the students rolled dice and moved their pieces along the board, their goal was to reach the owl at the top of the food web.

If a piece landed on a picture-square (rather than a number-square), students read aloud from a "predator-prey" card that matched the image. Our cards held interesting facts about "who-eats-who?" depicting the plant or animal on the square and explaining how each member of the web fit together. Along the way students landed on different organisms that are linked to the barn owl's diet, sometimes their landing on a square involved skipping ahead - ladders - other times they landed on a chute and had to move their piece back down the food web. I was thrilled that the lesson kept them all engaged for the entire science period!