¿Cuáles son los insectos?
Lesson 03: Life Cycle of an Insect

Submitted by Kara Scheid


Students will…

  • demonstrate and apply their knowledge of the four stages of an insect’s life cycle.


Language: Content Obligatory
Students will...

  • use articles appropriately to introduce nouns with phrases such as el huevo, la larva
  • use verbs in present tense in correct agreement with the subject to describe the stages in the life cycle with phrases such as la oruga come…, las orugas comen… (the caterpillar eats, the caterpillars eat)
  • demonstrate their ability to use new vocabulary related to life cycles. (See attachment)
  • demonstrate their ability to implement el/la with the appropriate noun.
  • demonstrate their ability to write sentences using present tense verbs that agree with the subject
  • sequence the stages of an insect’s life cycle with words such as primero, segundo, próximo, luego, entonces (first, second, next, afterwards, then)

Language: Content Compatible
Students will...

  • demonstrate their ability to write complete sentences including subject, verb and predicate
  • use adjectives to compliment their classmates’ work with phrases such as que bonito…, que completo… (what a nice…, how complete…)
  • use verbs to express their opinion about their classmates’ work with phrases such as Me gusta (I like it)
  • use modal auxiliaries and verbs in simple present to make suggestions (of new key words or ways to compliment each other’s work) with phrases such as Podríamos agregar…, Podemos escribir…, Podemos decir...
  • interpret technology-related nouns and verbs correctly to use Power Point tools (e.g. diapositiva, comprobar)
  • demonstrate understanding of technological vocabulary.

Learning Strategies / Social and Skills Development:
Students will...

  • use technological resources to demonstrate their understanding of an insect’s life cycle and communicate their knowledge
  • demonstrate their ability to use technology to sequence the stages in an insect’s life cycle
  • use technological tools to check spelling and modify fonts to improve the quality of their text
  • demonstrate their ability to check their spelling using Spell Check
  • use font tools to change the size, color, and/or style of the text
  • personalize their knowledge about insects’ life cycles by creating their own representation of it
  • use images to represent and communicate the information they know about insects’ life cycle
  • cooperate with other classmates to brainstorm and complete list of key vocabulary

Time Frame:

In the computer lab: 3 or 4 - 45 min. lab sessions

Materials Needed:

·         computer lab with Power Point software

·         prepared files for each insect with a variety of graphics on life stages  

Description of Assessment (Performance Project):

It is assumed that the students have already been given information on and have had experiences with the life cycles of insects including the bee, butterfly and ant.  This lesson is an application of that knowledge.  The focus here is on technology and language.  The technological components are hyperlinking and spell checking, while the language components are new vocabulary and correct grammatical structures.

Students sit in groups of four and recall the names of the 4 stages of the life cycle of those insects (bee, ant and butterfly). Each of the four students writes on the top of a piece of paper the name of one of the stages and has the responsibility to brainstorm for key words that would serve to describe that stage (key verbs, nouns and adjectives) for one or two minutes. Each group of four students gets back together and shares the words that each member has brainstormed. Any member can add new words to a classmate’s list.

During Tasks:
Once those lists have been reviewed within the group, each member can start writing his/her own paragraphs describing each stage for the slides. They can use the lists as reference.

In this lesson students will be creating a slide for each phase in the insect’s life cycle.  Since their choice of insects is limited (to bee, butterfly or ant) there will be four phases:

  1. El huevo (the egg)
  2. La larva/ la ninfa (the larva/ the nimph)
  3. La pupa (the pupa)
  4. El adulto (the adult)

In the “pre” phase, they will be mapping out the correct sequence of the life cycle of the insect.  The will also need to write one or two sentences about this stage of life.

The teacher will show the students a demonstration of the kind of slides they will be creating, complete with action buttons to make the presentation interactive. 

In this part of the lesson the students will be creating four slides on the life cycle stages.  Each slide needs to include the title (El ciclo de vida de una mariposa) and a sub-title (El huevo) which is the actual stage.  In order to do this they will need to insert a text box in which to write the title and sub-title and another text box in which to write their sentence(s).  They may change the text size, style, and/or color by utilizing the correct buttons on the toolbar or by selecting from the font drop-down menu. 

When they are finished writing their text portion they will need to select comprobar (Spelling) from the Herramientos (Tools) menu.  This will take them through a computer generated edit and they may choose to change or ignore the suggested errors.

Then, in order to import the graphic, they will need to open the previously prepared file named after their insect.  Here they will find a variety of graphics depicting the various stages of life.  They will need to apply their knowledge of selecting, copying and pasting (from previous lessons) in order to import the graphics to their slides.

Finally, the students will use the slide view button to go to a layout of all of the life cycle slides.  They will be adding action buttons to each slide to make the presentation interactive.  Each time they add an action button from the auto-shapes drop-down menu, a menu of options will pop up.  Students will select to “hyperlink” and then select “to slide.”  At this point the menu will show them all of their own slides and they will need to select the appropriate slide.

Action Buttons  (La Larva)
They will start with the first slide (the egg) and add three buttons at the bottom.  Each button will have the name of one of the other three stages. This is done by right clicking on the button and selecting “add text.”

In the subsequent slides, they will follow the same process of adding buttons, however, the buttons will be linked in this order: El huevo, La larva (oruga), La pupa (crisálida), and El adulto (mariposa).

After the students have completed the four slides with hyperlinking buttons and have saved their work, they will be able to try out the interactive presentation.  They will first experiment with their own slide show, and as other students finish they will be able to try working with theirs as well.  As students interact with classmates presentations they will be expected to give at least one positive comment as feedback to their classmate.


Assessment of students’ basic technological awareness and/or capabilities may be assessed by teacher’s visual observations during the work time.  Students’ work will also be assessed using two separate checklists – one for technology and another for science, as well as a language rubric.

References and Resources:


NOTE: some attachments are in PDF form (get Acrobat Reader)

Vocabulary - Lesson 3