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8 Life Cycle Activities Perfect for 2nd Grade

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Spring has sprung, which means it’s the perfect time to learn about animal life cycles! I love doing animal life cycle activities with my students, so today, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite ones that are perfect for 2nd grade!

life cycle activities for 2nd grade

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Life Cycle Activities for 2nd Grade

1. Read a Life Cycle Book or Two

I love starting a thematic unit by reading a book! Check out some of my favorite books that include animal life cycles. Click the links in the captions to check them out on Amazon!

2. Observe the Butterfly Life Cycle with a Butterfly Kit

Your scientists will love watching their own caterpillars grow into butterflies! Observing this process is very easy with a Butterfly kit. The kit includes a voucher for caterpillars (or you can order some online too!).

3. Butterfly Life Cycle Reading Comprehension

Build your students’ reading comprehension skills during science or your small group lesson with this comprehension building mini-lesson kit!

This Reading Comprehension mini-lesson kit includes an interactive reading passage and five days’ worth of reading comprehension-building activities. Oh, and it comes in both print and digital forms! Check it out here!

4. Animal Life Cycle Mini-posters

This fun and easy project is a perfect activity for the end of your life cycles unit. To complete, students create a mini-poster to show how an animal moves through its life cycle.

Students will need a piece of white paper and construction paper, scissors, and glue.

First, they illustrate the animal in the different stages of its life cycle. Then, they create captions to narrate their illustrations.

Students cut out the stages and captions and glue them onto the construction paper. They add a title and arrows, and poof! An animal life cycle poster is done!

Give these books to your students to use as a reference!

5. Create butterfly life cycle observation journals

How long does it take a caterpillar to turn into a butterfly? Find out with this fun and easy science experiment.

Students create a little butterfly-shaped journal and keep track as their caterpillars turn into butterflies. Don’t forget to compare the results!

6. Make life cycle hats

Learning about how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly? Make it into a hat!

Use sentence strip paper for the headband. Then, have students add the stages of the animal’s life cycle. Add a festive decoration (like wings and antennae), and your students are ready to sport their learning!

7. Watch a Magic School Bus Episode!

Is a science lesson even a science lesson if Ms. Frizzle isn’t invited?

Your students will love this fun episode where the class goes on a field trip to the bog and learns more about a butterfly’s life cycle! Check it out here.

8. Write a Life Cycle Expository Essay

Bring writing into your Life Cycle unit with this essay option.

After learning about the life cycle of an animal, students write an expository essay detailing how the animal moves through the life cycle. Add a diagram as the illustration and publish it on a large sheet of construction paper. The perfect way to check for understanding of life cycles!

Press the Easy Button on Life Cycle Lesson Plans

Want to press the easy button on your butterfly life cycle plans? This Science Thematic Unit: Butterfly Life Cycle Activities is just what you need! This unit is packed full of engaging, fun, and standards-aligned science, reading, and writing activities your students will love!

Life Cycle Activities for 2nd Grade

Those are just a few of my favorite life cycle activities for 2nd grade. Observation during hands-on experiments, writing, and creating hats are just a few ways you can bring some fun to your life cycle unit!

More Spring Ideas!

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Hi, I'm Leigh.

The Applicious Teacher is all about creating hands-on and engaging lessons that align with the standards while still having time for your life. This is your place for ideas, tips, and resources for the REAL teacher!


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