3rd Grade: Designing a Life Cycle

3rd Grade's first STEM Unit of the year focused on life cycles. Throughout the unit, students explored the life cycles of living organisms that occur in the world around us. They learned that each stage of a life cycle signifies a change and a type of growth. By growing various plants, students witnessed that plants may begin their life cycles as seeds, but they develop and grow differently depending on the seeds and fruit each plant produces. Similarly, when examining animals from different classifications, students saw that there are lots of different ways for an animal to complete its life cycle. They found that these differences are based on the needs of the animal and can change based on its environment. As it happened, students also had the opportunity to show empathy towards an injured toad on the playground. They rescued him, named him Alexander Ninja Toad, and created a home for him in their classroom. Having him as an addition to their classroom allowed them to research his life cycle and the life cycle of his favorite food: crickets.

For the culmination of their unit, students were able to analyze what they have learned to design a new organism and the stages of its life cycle. They used their imagination, creativity, and communication skills to create unique creatures. After planning and completing the stages of their new organism's life cycle, they prototyped a model and presented it in a gallery walk for their peers.