Learning Life cycle - P.O.D.
Its a bugs life!
The life cycle project - a 3 step process (P.O.D.)- Predict, Observe ,Document!
The days when the kids teach us! I am just amazed at the exposure and high indulgence learning platform that teachers bring to the classroom. One afternoon after school my daughter showed me her science journal and explained to me the life cycle of a darkling beetle. She was very detailed and specific and she knew enough to bring the knowledge back home and explain.
I have been pondering how to introduce more life cycle concepts to my kids lately.As this generation parents, we all inadvertently at some point have read Eric Carle who has made the life cycle of a butterfly very popular through his book - I am a hungry caterpillar from the egg-caterpillar-chrysalis-butterfly. My kids were 2.5 when Teacher Verna Rego set up a open fish tank with a few butterfly and moth eggs and every day kids observed the little transformations until the eggs transformed into beautiful butterflies or moths. We did this project 2 years in a row in Teacher Verna Rego's class. Having experienced the observation learning concept, it predefined our learning method. We continued doing hands on fruits/flowers life cycles but not much on the bugs side , and I was not sure if I wanted to use widely available cards/worksheet method to explain additional life cycles - they are great reinforcing tools, but I was not convinced to use it as a beginning tool and I was just stuck there.
My kids now 5, have a monthly science theme in their pre-kindergarten class. At the onset of spring, the science theme was lifecycle. Their science teacher Usha Santhanam presented the life cycle concept as a 3 step process (P.O.D.)-
Predict: The kids were first asked to imagine and illustrate.
Observe: Then a live pupa/beetle was brought in for observations.
Document: The kids documented their observations and then evaluated what they had imagined vs. the reality.
It was a very structured learning process , this learning the kids will remember for a lifetime! And offcourse, I am going to save this Science journal for years to come. Compile these treasures for future reference and retain it as a memory for my kids as they excitedly mentioned it to me "Mama, it was real live ". Here are the images of the document created by the pre-kindergarten kids learning the lifecycle of a Darkling Beetle. On Page 3 - you will notice there are 2 - one is brown and the larger one is black - the brown one is the young one and black one is a fully grown beetle.