Animal Life Cycles


Did you know that each animal group has an amazingly unique life cycle? It’s true! Every animal begins as an egg and ends as an adult, but there are some very cool differences during the in-between stages. This curriculum will help you explore them all!


Animal life cycles are truly amazing to study! This fun, nature-based science curriculum will open the eyes of your 1st-8th graders to all of the wonders. By the end, they will be able to make fantastic scientific comparisons and even identify various animal groups and the stages of their life cycles.

From embryos to adults and everything in between, learn how animals grow in stages. From stage to stage, you will see the life cycle similarities of animals within each group. You’ll also be able to easily compare the similarities and differences in life cycles from animal group to animal group.

The curriculum begins with a solid understanding of the definition of cycles as they pertain to science and then each subsequent lesson focuses on one particular group of animals:

  • mammals
  • fish
  • birds
  • reptiles
  • amphibians
  • arthropods

The final lesson (out of eight) digs a little deeper into the topic of metamorphosis, particularly the complete and incomplete metamorphoses of insects in the arthropod animal group. 

Words like metamorphosis, arthropods, and others seem like they might be awfully big for the younger crowd, but the lessons in this curriculum are presented in ways that all ages between 1st-8th can enjoy and grab hold of the concepts – even the giant science vocabulary. Approachable text, videos, meaningful nature journaling, and other easy activities all work together to help students of all ages feel successful and challenged.

Since we’re talking about science vocabulary, take a look at some of the other amazing words your children should understand by the end of the study: warm-blooded, cold-blooded, vertebrate, invertebrate, exoskeleton, appendage, spawn, oviparous, larva, ectothermic, endothermic, nymph, and so, so many more!  

Unlike other curriculum guides in the No Sweat Nature Study series, this one includes an optional project that builds over the course of six lessons and ends with student presentations. I think your children will be very excited to complete the project…and I think you’ll be very excited by the knowledge they are able to share during the presentations.

As always, you have the choice to use what you want and leave behind the extras, but you will never be overwhelmed with too many activities to choose from. If you choose to do several activities for each lesson and complete one or more daily, the study can easily last eight weeks or more. In that case, you’ll likely have wonderful experiences in reading, watching videos, creating nature journal pages, doing kid-friendly research, and taking nature walks to put the new knowledge into action. And, yes, every single moment can count as science!

  • 34 pages
  • Digital curriculum
  • Appropriate for black and white printing
  • Printing is not necessary
  • Content suitable for charter schools

What is No Sweat Nature Study?

Have you ever wished for a nature study that simply didn’t require any outdoor time?

No packing of bags full of nature journals and sunblock.

No half-days spent driving to and from the nature trails.

No whining about the temperature that’s either too hot or too cold.

Well, it’s here. 

The No Sweat Nature Study series allows you to teach nature-based lessons from the comfort of your home or classroom using an amazing variety of fresh resources that will make a deep scientific impact on your students.

Through the use of kid-friendly, hand-selected videos, websites, online images, and books, you can teach nature study topics to multiple ages in short bursts of time.

Wait. Some of you are die-hard fans of “real” nature study – the outdoor kind – and you’re wondering how this curriculum could be legit, aren’t you?

Trust me when I say I am all for getting outdoors for real-life nature study. In fact, nature walks have been a weekly habit around our house for years and years now – and they’ve made a huge difference in our homeschool.

Some people just don’t like getting outside, though. Others struggle with time, energy, health, or climate issues. Some are attempting to teach nature study in co-ops or classrooms without options to get outdoors frequently.

I want everyone to have the opportunity to study in-depth nature topics, and this curriculum is just about as close to real life nature walks as you can get without going outside.

But, don’t stop reading just yet my “real” nature study friend. YOU can benefit from this curriculum, too! It’s a great way to add some depth and understanding to things you’re already discovering in the field during your nature walks.

Whether your a fan of nature walks or not, you’ll find this series to provide you with a unique method to experience nature study!

  • You get to choose exactly how much and what you study as you work through eight lessons.
  • The activities are leveled for difficulty, while allowing you the opportunity to do more or less depending on the interests and abilities of your students.
  • Whether you do a little or a lot from each lesson, rest assured that serious nature-based science will be learned.

This curriculum is perfect to add to a morning time routine. It’s also perfect to use once-a-week as a supplement to your regular science curriculum. If you choose to do all the lessons and really dig deep within each, you could use No Sweat Nature Study as your complete science curriculum for whichever topics you choose. How you choose to use it is really up to you!

Written with 1st-8th graders in mind, the topics are really very in-depth. Using kid-size terminology and resources, I think you’ll be surprised and excited about how much scientific information your students are able to absorb!


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