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Life Cycle Lesson Plan

Introduction: This lesson plan focuses on the life cycle of the ladybug. Students will learn how ladybugs begin as eggs then pass through the stages of larva, pupa, and young ladybugs before becoming adult ladybugs. Students will learn what occurs during each stage and will also see what ladybugs look like during each stage of their life cycle.


  • reading: vocabulary, comprehension, critical thinking
  • writing
  • science concepts: understanding life cycles 


  • document camera or projector
  • chart paper
  • marker
  • Printable Student Handouts:
    • “Ladybug Life Cycle” diagram
    • “Ladybug Life Cycle” article
    • “Fact or Opinion” worksheet
    • “Ladybug Life Cycle Word Wall”
    • “Ladybug Life Cycle - Label the Stages”
    • “Ladybug Life Cycle Word Search”


  • Print one copy of the “Ladybug Life Cycle” diagram.
  • Print one copy of the “Ladybug Life Cycle Word Wall” sheet. Cut out each word.
  • Print one copy per student of the “Ladybug Life Cycle” article.
  • Print enough copies of “Fact or Fiction” for students to use in partners.
  • Print one copy per student of “Ladybug Life Cycle - Label the Stages.”
  • Print one copy per student of the “Ladybug Life Cycle Word Search.”
  • You may wish to create a booklet for each student using the above printables.

Whole Group Lesson:

Explain how life cycles are a series of changes that living things go through, beginning with birth. You can use the stages that humans go through as an example: infant, toddler, child, adolescent, adult, older adult. Discuss how humans change in appearance and also in behavior as they pass through the stages. Invite students to give examples of how our appearance changes and what types of activities we engage in during each stage.  

Show students the “Ladybug Life Cycle” diagram using the projector or document camera. Review the names of each stage in the life cycle. Add the names to the word wall, using the “Ladybug Life Cycle Word Wall” sheet.

Have students read “Ladybug Life Cycle.” Determine if you prefer to have each student read the article independently or in partners or small groups. When the reading is complete, bring students together in the whole group. Have them share what they learned about each stage of the life cycle, organizing their ideas into “Appearance” and  “Activities” on chart paper.

Further Practice:

To think critically about what they have read, have students complete “Fact or Opinion.” Begin by reviewing the difference between facts and opinions if necessary. Have students work in partners so they can read each statement and discuss whether they think it is a fact or an opinion. Tell students that they must be prepared to defend their answers. Once students have finished, review each statement as a whole group and come to a consensus on whether they are facts or opinions.   


  • Provide students with “Ladybug Life Cycle - Label the Stages.” Use this sheet as a “ticket out the door” at the end of the lesson to see if students remember the names of the stages.  
  • Provide early finishers during the lesson with the “Ladybug Life Cycle Word Search.”


  • Read books about the life cycle of ladybugs or add them to your classroom library for students to enjoy. (e.g., “Ladybug Life Cycle” by Justin McCory Martin, “Ladybug” by David M. Schwartz, “A Ladybug’s Life by John Himmelman)
  • Show students videos about the life cycle of ladybugs.
  • Have students create a quiz game for each other, using questions they generate from the “Ladybug Life Cycle” article.
  • Have students learn about other animals’ life cycles.

Frog, crab, butterfly, mosquito, shark, turtle, ant, jellyfish, and chicken! Get more life cycle worksheets courtesy of