Animal Life Cycles

Adapted by Darby McAsey from a lesson by Linda Cyster, Walnut Hills Elementary: Greenville, Michigan


The Challenge:

You have been asked by the Fred Seemore Publishing Company to create a page for their science book about animal life cycles. The editor, Mr. Seamoor, would like you to help children understand which two life cycles are the most alike. In order to do this, you need to do some research so you can compare the life cycles of various animal families. He wants you to decide which two life cycles are the most alike. Mr. Seamoor wants you to pick the life cycle that best represents that particular animal family. He knows there are special animals in every family.




Your Task:

Your task will be to answer the essential question:

Which two animal life cycles are the most alike? You must explain your decision.

You will need to fill in the chart below (a copy will be provided by your teacher). Use the classroom resources and Web Learning Links to help you answer the following questions:

  1. What is the life cycle of a mammal?
  2. What is the life cycle of a bird?
  3. What is the life cycle of an insect?
  4. What is the life cycle of an amphibian?
  5. What is the life cycle of a reptile?
  6. What is the life cycle of a fish?

You will then use your chart to complete a Venn Diagram to show which two life cycles are most alike. You will need to explain why these two life cycles are most alike in a short paragraph to be placed below your Venn Diagram.





1. Using the Learning Links and the Classroom Resources, complete this chart. Some of the blanks have been filled in for you. Make sure to write neatly so Mr. Seamoor can read your research.

Animal Family: Examples


Egg or Live Birth?

Parental Care of Young


Food forYoung


List the Names of the Life Stages
Young Adult
Mammal:           Young-Adolescent-Adult


Insect:   No Parent Care   Butterfly has wings for flying    
Amphibian:     Tadpole has tail for swimming   Same as Adult Food  
Reptile:           Egg-Young-Adult
Fish: Egg          





2. Your Learning Links:




Life Cycle of the Elephant

Excellent information about the life cycle of the elephant. Click the hyperlinked words (in blue) to find more detailed information.



Nature Works Grizzly Bears

Scan the page for the "Life Cycle" Heading.

Grizzly Bears Think Quest





Burrowing Owl: Life Cycle information about the burrowing owl, an endangered species found in Alberta.

Burrowing Owl Study: A study of the burrowing owl. Check out the video of a burrowing owl mother and her nest.

Sask Schools Burrowing Owl:Easy to Read facts about Burrowing Owls.

Burrowing Owl Animal Tracks: More about this endangered species and efforts to save it.




The Imperial Eagle






The Ostrich

Animal Planet: About the Ostrich


Insect Life Cycle Diagram

Choose an Insect Life Cycle: Mealworm, Lady Bug, Butterfly, Dragonfly etc...


Life Cycle of the Butterfly: Detailed Info

All About the Painted Lady

Our Butterfly Diary


Life Cycle of the Lady Bug


Meal Worm




Frog Life Cycle: Simple information about the life cycle of a frog.

Diagram of a Frog's Life Cycle

Diagram and Information about Frogs

Frog Life Cycle Powerpoint: This presentation will download to your computer.

General Info About Amphibian Life Cycle






Life Cycle of a Snake



Student Report about the Life Cycle of a Salmon:

Provides information and pictures about the life cycle of a salmon.

Interactive Life Cycle of a Salmon

Diagram, information, and pictures about the Salmon's Life Cycle. You can click on the hyperlinked words to see pictures.

The Big Blue Bus Creature Feature: Salmon

If the page looks blank, you may have to scroll down further. Very detailed information about the life cycle of the salmon.

2.  Using your chart decide which two animal families are the most alike, based on their life cycles.  Use a Venn Diagram to show your results.  Be sure to use titles and labels.  You may use colors and pictures to make your work really great.

3.  Write a short paragraph, below your Venn Diagram to explain your choice.  Remember you are writing for the Fred Seemore Publishing Company.  Be sure to indent your paragraph and use correct spelling and punctuation.