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Lesson Plan: Life Cycle

Subject:  Science

Grade: 3

Lesson Objective: To learn about the life cycle of trumpeter swans and then answer questions about the life cycle

Standard:  LS1.B: Growth and Development of Organisms- Reproduction is essential to the continued existence of every kind of organism. Plants and animals have unique and diverse life cycles.




  • Have you ever seen a swan?  What do you know about them?  (Allow the students to answer.)



  • There are many different types of swans.  In North America, there are two types of swans that are native.  This means that they are originally from North America and were not brought here from someplace else.
  • The two native species are the Trumpeter and Tundra swans.  There are also Mute swans that were brought here from far away and now live in North America.
  • Swans, just like all living things, have a life cycle.  A life cycle is the changes that happen to a living thing as it moves through its life.
  • Many of you have learned about the life cycle of a butterfly.  A butterfly begins as an egg.  A caterpillar than hatches from the egg.  The caterpillar eats and grows and then makes a chrysalis.  After a few days or a few weeks, a butterfly comes out of the chrysalis.  Eventually, the butterfly lays more eggs and the life cycle continues.
  • What do you think the life cycle of a swan is like?  (Allow the students to answer)
  • You are going to read about the life cycle of a trumpeter swan, which is the type of swan that Sam saw in The Trumpet of the Swan.
  • You are then going to answer questions about what you have read.
  • Does anyone have any questions?



  • Who would like to share your answers?  (Allow the students to share)

Related lessons:

Emergency Sub Plan: Life Cycle - Reading -  Lesson Objective: To read an excerpt from Trumpet of the Swans and discuss how it relates to the life cycle of swans.

Emergency Sub Plan: Life Cycle - Writing - Lesson Objective: To write the rest of the story based on the chapter read from The Trumpet of the Swan

Emergency Sub Plan: Life Cycle - Math - Lesson Objective: To use multiplication and division to solve word problems

Emergency Sub Plans Complete Library

Written by Kimberly Greacen, Education World® Contributing Writer

Kimberly is an educator with extensive experience in curriculum writing and developing instructional materials to align with Common Core State Standards and Bloom's Taxonomy.

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