Author:
VDOE Project Team, Christa Clore-Edmonds
Subject:
ESL, English Language Development (ELD)
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Level:
Lower Primary
Grade:
2
Tags:
2nd Grade, Animals, EL, ELD, ELL, ELinst, ESL, ESOL, English Language Learner, English Learner, Inform, KLU Inform, Life Cycles, ML, Plants, Second Grade, VDOE, VDOEResource, WIDA
License:
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
Language:
English
Media Formats:
Downloadable docs, Text/HTML

Education Standards

2.4 Life Cycles

2.4 Life Cycles

Overview

This instructional plan combined Science SOL 2.4a,b and WIDA English Language Development Standards. The lesson includes several activity options. 

Note: Some images may not appear in the "Overview". To view all images in this instructional plan, click "download" at the bottom of the overview.

 

Sample Instructional Plan

Grade Level(s): 2nd

Life Cycles

#GoOpenVA Tags: ELL/EL/ML/ESL/ELD/ESOL, English Learner, English Language Learner, WIDA, inform, life cycles, plants, animals, second grade, 2nd grade, SOL Science 2.4

Content and Language Connections

SOL

KLU

Language Objectives(s): interpret and construct Science Explanations by

Language Feature/ Essential Skill  1:

Cross-disciplinary

 {Tier 2} language {connected to language function/expectation}

Language Feature/ Essential Skill  2:

Content-Specific Technical language {Tier 3}

{explore the text, search see content curriculum framework, search the topic online for ideas}

Language Feature/ Essential Skill 3:

grammar skill most needed for the task

2.4 The student will investigate and understand that plants and animals undergo a series of orderly changes as they grow and develop.

Key ideas include a) animals have life cycles; and b) plants have life cycles.

Inform

Describing the orderly changes that occur during the life cycles of plants and animals using sequencing language

 

Comparing life cycles of different plants and animals

cycle

change

first

next

then

describe

order/orderly

common

compare

contrast

both/similarity/alike

different/unlike

evidence

plants

animals

organisms

seed

mammals

insects

life cycle

germination

pollination

birth

growth

reproduction

death

mature

adult

 

adjectives to describe observations and changes (including comparative adjectives -er)

 

 

 

Differentiated Language Expectation Samples*

Entering (1) & Emerging (2)

Developing (3) & Expanding (4)

Bridging (5) & Reaching (6)

SEQUENCING

First,_____.

Next,____.

Then,____.

Stems will not include a last, finally, etc.  Students need to understand that there isn’t an end.  The cycle continues.

 

COMPARING & CONTRASTING

            They both ____.

           They are the same because ______.

           They are different because _____.

SEQUENCING

To begin with, _____.

After that, _____.

Later, _____.

Following that, _____.

Stems will not include a last, finally, etc.  Students need to understand that there isn’t an end.  The cycle continues.

COMPARING & CONTRASTING

____ and ____ are similar because ____.

____ and ____ are different because ____.

SEQUENCING

Use content specific clauses such as -

After germination,____.

After pollination, ____.

Once the seed sprouts, ____.

Stems will not include a last, finally, etc.  Students need to understand that there isn’t an end.  The cycle continues.

COMPARING & CONTRASTING

One difference between ____ and ____ is ____.

One similarity between ____ and ____ is ____.

*See the Proficiency Level Descriptors, page 103 for additional ideas in the WIDA English Language Development Standards Framework, 2020 Edition: Kindergarten-Grade 12

 

Essential Knowledge, Skills, and Processes

  • Language Domains:  S will integrate interpretive (reading, listening, viewing) and expressive (speaking, writing, representing) skills to communicate ideas connected to grade-level content.
  • Social-Emotional Skills and Connections:  S will communicate their ideas in socially-appropriate ways using provided stems for agreement and disagreement.  S will take turns responding during group work and group discussions.

Essential Understandings

  • Language helps me communicate my ideas and thinking and learn new information.
  • My home language and my experiences help me learn a new language and about new topics.

 

Materials and Resources

  • Reading resources for integration into language arts can be accessed at the following links:
  • Popular children’s literature about the life cycle of a butterfly from egg to butterfly
  • Popular children’s literature about the life cycle of mammals including humans
  • Mealworms (available at most pet stores for about a dollar for 100)
  • Clear plastic cups — one for each student
  • Plastic wrap or baggies
  • Rubber bands
  • Oatmeal
  • Small plastic zip bags
  • Blank booklets — one for each student (construction paper folded in half as the cover and three sheets of plain paper folded in half as pages)
  • Strips of paper
  • Bean seeds
  • Cotton balls
  • Yarn
  • Pictures of animal life stages (include animals with a simple life cycle such as the white-tailed deer or squirrels) and include animals that have a metamorphic life cycle (butterfly, mealworms, etc.)
  • Pictures of vegetable plants or fruit trees at their various life stages

 

Content and Language Learning Plan (T for Teacher, Ss for Students)

Some activities were adapted from this VDOE lesson plan.

 

Welcome and Introduction to Learning

  • T starts with a welcome, community building task, and refers to norms and expectations for respect towards self and others.
  • T posts, explains, and unpacks the content and language objective(s).  T briefly explains that we will be learning about the life cycles of plants and animals.  A cycle is something with regular steps that follow the same order over and over again.  The T uses TPR (Total Physical Response) and makes a circular motion with the hand and arm in a clockwise direction.  Every time T and Ss say “cycle” during the unit, T will remind them of the TPR motion for cycle.  T will explain to Ss that cycles are often shown in a circle because it keeps going. 

 

Activating and Building Background Knowledge

 

1.  T will provide an array of life cycle diagrams for different plants and animals.  All of the life cycle diagrams/images should include labels of key vocabulary and life cycle stages. 

2. T will ask Ss what they notice and wonder about life cycles. Ss may use simple frames for sharing such as “I notice ____.  I wonder ____.” 

3. T will note the language Ss used and use that information to connect language to the lesson and bring in intentionally when teaching.

 

 

 

Learning Activity Option:  Read Aloud Introduction to the Life Cycle of a Butterfly

Language Domains:  Listening, Speaking, and Reading

 

1. T will read aloud a popular children’s book on the life cycle of the butterfly.  T will make this an interactive read aloud by having Ss repeat key words and practice retelling each stage of the life cycle by using Turn and Talk to give the Ss opportunities to repeat the steps with a partner.  T should allow beginning ELs to respond in both their home language and English.  T should allow same language peers to work collaboratively if possible.  T may model and post relevant sentence frames such as First, ____  Next, ____, Then, ____ (See chart above for differentiated sentence frames for sequencing.)

 

2.  T will show pictures of the butterfly life cycle.  T and Ss will discuss the four distinct stages (egg, larva, pupa, and butterfly).  T will display an anchor chart showing the stages of the life cycle labeled with key vocabulary. 

 

 

Image is hyperlinked to source.

 

 

 

 

Learning Activity Option:  Observing the Life Cycle of an Insect

Language Domains:  Listening, Speaking, and Writing

 

1. T will introduce information about mealworms and a grain beetle’s life cycle, showing pictures and a diagram of any beetle life cycle such as the one below.

Created in Google Drawings with the following images:

Larva Image Source

Adult Image Source

Pupa Image Source

Egg Image Source

 

 

 

2. T will set up the mealworm experiment for each S. T will give each S a cup, plastic wrap (or a baggie), and some oatmeal, have the Ss put the oatmeal in their cups, and give each S three to six mealworms. Ss should cover the cup with the plastic and secure it with a rubber band and punch two holes in the plastic. T will ask Ss, “Why do you think we need to punch holes in the plastic?”

3. T will distribute booklets to Ss, and let them title their booklet with “Life cycle of a Grain Beetle” and make a title page.

 

4. T will have the Ss draw their mealworm setup they just created on the page after the title page, labeling the page “Mealworm Stage.” Ss may want to measure their worms and add this information to the page. Ss will put the date on this page. For beginning EL, this would also be a good opportunity for T to support Ss with how dates are written and spoken in English. 

 

5. Ss should observe their mealworms every day. Each day that they note any change (molting of skin, pupa stage developing, etc.), they should draw and write about it in their booklets. Ss should be sure that they date the entry of each change. Beginning EL may need cloze observation pages with fill-in-the-blank sentences and word banks.  T may also support Ss by writing the sentence and having the Ss copy the sentence each day.  Pictures and drawings are also a great way to keep observation notes.  Digital observation could be made with photos taken each day with Ss’’ electronic devices (Chromebook, laptop, ipad, etc.)

 

6.  Throughout the observation period, T will promote S collaboration and allow active sharing between Ss.  Model for Ss how to share observations about the experiment.  I see ____.  I notice ____.  I observed ____.  It has changed by ____.  The changes I notice are _____ and _____.  The T should specifically address how to enhance observations and any sentence with adjectives and comparative adjectives (I notice a brown piece growing. It has changed by getting longer.)  T will meet with small groups for writing conferences.  T will ensure that Ss are adding these details to their writing and support them in doing so.

 

7. After all the Ss’ mealworms have transformed, T will place them in one larger container containing oatmeal. Over the next couple of weeks, T will have the Ss observe the hatching of new mealworms!

 

8.  As a culminating writing activity, T will help Ss to write a paragraph to summarize their findings about the life cycle of a grain beetle.  To support early English writers, T may provide a paragraph frame such as the following.  This writing activity could be completed individually or with a partner. 

 

 

 

Learning Activity Option:  Observing the Life Cycle of a Plant

Language Domains: Listening, Speaking, and Writing

 

1. T will discuss the life cycle of a plant. Show pictures of a variety of plants, pointing out blossoms and fruits on the plants. Discuss that the blossoms (flowers) develop into fruit. T should be sure to model and explain all key vocabulary in the curriculum framework.  T should post an illustrated word wall with key vocabulary.

 

2. T will give each S a strip of paper. Have them draw the life cycle of a plant in sequence: seed, sprout, developing leaves, blossoms, and fruit. Discuss that the fruit is or contains the seed for the life cycle to begin again. Ss will label each stage on their strip.  Ss will tell the life cycle of the plant to a peer.  T will remind Ss to use those sequencing words to show how the steps go in order - First, ____  Next, ____, Then, ____ (See chart above for differentiated sentence frames for sequencing and model the ones with content specific clauses, such as After germination, ____.)

 

3. T will lead discussion with Ss about what a plant needs to grow (prompt for water, oxygen, nutrients, space, and sunlight). Discuss that while the seed is in the earth, it receives no sunlight, but it does receive heat to cause it to sprout. T may use TPR again for the word “sprout” by making the hand like a seed under the ground that opens up above the ground.

 

4. T will distribute plastic zip baggies, yarn, a cotton ball, and a bean seed to each S.

 

5. T will have the Ss wet the cotton ball and place it in the baggie with their seed.  T will ask Ss - “Why do you think we are wetting the cotton ball?  Why does the cotton ball need to be wet?” Then, T will have them seal their baggie, punch a whole near the top, tie the yarn on it, and put it around their neck with the baggie against their skin. T will explain that they will provide the heat to make their seed sprout. T will tell them that they should wear this for the next few days and keep it under their pillow at night, not around their neck when they sleep. Ss should observe the seed often in order to notice the moment when it sprouts. Ss should write down the exact moment it sprouts: date, hour, minute. For beginning EL, this would also be a good opportunity to support Ss with how dates and times are written and spoken in English. 

 

6. T and Ss will keep a running total of dates and times on a wall chart or the board.  T should engage Ss in the recording of data and allow Ss to record notes on the wall chart or board.  Again, encourage Ss to talk about their observations and share what they think should be recorded - I see ____.  I notice ____.  I observed ____.  It has changed by ____.  The changes I notice are _____ and _____.  The T should specifically address how to enhance observations and any sentence with adjectives and comparative adjectives (I notice a green, pointy leaf growing. It has changed by getting bigger.)  T will meet with small groups for writing conferences.  T will ensure that Ss are adding these details to their writing and support them in doing so.

 

 

(This activity can be modified by taping the baggies to the window in the classroom, rather than putting them on necklaces and using body heat.)

 

 

 

 

Learning Activity Option:  Evidence of Life Cycles

Language Domains:  Listening and Speaking

 

1. T will take the class on a walk around the school grounds. Tell them that they are going to look for plants and animals (or evidence of plants and animals).

 

2. During the walk, T will tell the Ss to look for both animal and plant life or evidence of animal and plant life. (You may see things such as bees, birds, squirrels, spiders, spider webs, acorns, bushes, trees, leaves, pinecones, ant hills, tracks, etc.) Ss may use digital devices to take pictures of the evidence they find.  (If digital devices are not available, a data chart or science journal could be used to draw and record what is seen.)

 

3. When they return to the classroom, Ss will take turns sharing about the evidence they found of plants and animals.  T may ask questions such as “What evidence did you find?  What does this evidence teach us about the plant or animal?  What stage of the life cycle does this evidence teach us about?  How do you know?  This will be a more intensive whole-class discussion.  T should allow for Ss to respond in their home language(s) and should be sure to include visuals of what is being discussed. 

 

 

Learning Activity Option:  Reading About Life Cycles

Language Domains:  Speaking and Reading

 

1. T should prepare small group reading materials based on Ss reading levels.  Books, passages, or poems should be about the life cycles of plants or animals.  If T cannot locate resources, free online resources such as the following can be used: 

2. In a small group setting, T will explain to Ss that they will be reading about life cycles.  Their task after reading two books or passages will be to compare and contrast two different living things by thinking about how their life cycles are the same and how they are different.  (This is setting the purpose for their reading.)

 

3.. T will tell Ss they are going to start with a picture walk.  (If using passages, T may need to prepare other images to include with the passage.  Therefore, a digital or print book would be preferred.)  A picture walk is a before reading strategy that can be used for fiction or non-fiction texts.  T guides a walk through of the book with Ss, pointing out illustrations, photos, and other text features or graphic elements.  T will ask Ss what they notice about the pictures and how they think those details might relate to the story or the content.  Encourage Ss to use stems for explaining and making connections:  I can tell this is about life cycles because _______.  This makes me think about _____ because_____.  This reminds me of what we learned about _____.  As Ss take the opportunity to share what they see and notice, T will support Ss with any vocabulary in the text that may be difficult to decode or figure out through context.  Some helpful strategies for this include these ideas from Reading Rockets.

  • Role playing or pantomiming
  • Using gestures
  • Showing real objects (realia)
  • Pointing to pictures
  • Doing quick drawings on the board
  • Using the home language equivalent and then asking students to say the word in English

4. T will continue the lesson through a guided reading approach.  For beginning EL, T may choose to use echo reading, rather than guided reading. Echo reading is a type of instruction in which the Ss read text after a T reads the same text aloud in order to help Ss develop fluency, expression, and decoding skills. The T models fluent, expressive reading while reading aloud small chunks (e.g. a sentence, a paragraph) to Ss.

5.  T will continue this for another text about a different plant or animal.  Follow the same procedures with a picture walk/vocabulary introduction and guided reading/echo reading.

6.  Upon completion of the second text, T will explain to Ss that they will be comparing and contrasting the two plants or animals they read about.  They can compare and contrast characteristics or appearances of them, but should also compare and contrast their life cycles.  T will model how to use a Venn diagram to compare and contrast two things using a think aloud and realia.  Ss will work collaboratively to complete a group Venn diagram (either writing on their own Venn diagram organizers or sharing ideas and having the T record on an anchor chart).  Refer to the differentiated thinking stems for comparing and contrasting in the chart above to reinforce Ss using the expected language.

Additional Strategies for Advancing Beginning Literacy for Level 1 Newcomer ELs

  • Reinforce phonics and phonemic awareness skills needed (based on data such as a inventories) using the language expectations and any texts (written or audio)  in the lesson- e.g.,
    • if Ss need practice with CVC, include an additional activity in which the T models highlighting those words/word parts, saying them, model segmenting and blending the sounds in the words, having Ss repeat the words with the segmenting/blending, etc.
    • Have Ss sort key terms or specific words that feature specific phonics/phonemic awareness needs  by initial or final letters (e.g., blends, silent e).
    • Model identifying and counting syllables.
    • Note any rhyming words from the lesson.

Formative Assessment Ideas and Suggested Tools

WIDA’s Proficiency Level Descriptors on pages 80-81 can be used to create a rubric for language development and measure growth between units. ELs should never be penalized for not using language beyond their current proficiency level without the proper supports and plenty of opportunities for practice followed by productive teacher feedback. 

 

  • Review the Objectives: Ss complete a self-assessment as part of an exit ticket to evaluate their learning connected to the objective and language features.
  • Checklist: Matrix of S names to record when Ss used the expected language during class (virtually: to be used from analyzing the chat box, listening in on breakout rooms or whole class discussions/student whip-around responses to prompts, student-submitted recording)

 

Names

 

Tier 2

Tier 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • See Appendices for sample formative assessments to be used with this lesson plan.

 

Extension Ideas for the Other KLUs

 

Genre Family- KLU

Example Language Expectation

Narrate

Produce oral or written stories about an animal growing and changing

Explain

Explore cause and effect with life cycles

Argue

Justify how all life cycles are the same

Connections to the WIDA ELD Standards Framework, 2020 Edition

The lesson plan above was created to connect to the Virginia context based on the following components listed in the WIDA English Language Development Standards Framework, 2020 Edition: Kindergarten-Grade 12

 

KLU

Language Expectation

Language Feature(s)

Explain

p.89

Compare and contrast objects or concepts

Connectors to compare and contrast

Explain

p.89

Follow and describe cycles in diagrams, steps in procedures, or causes and effects

Connectors to sequence steps in a cycle

Inform

p.88

Describe characteristics, patterns, or behavior

Adjectives to describe

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix 1: Speaking Prompt (Describe/Sequence)

male teacher  source

 

TEACHER:

We have been learning about the life cycles of plants and animals.  Plants and animals are living things that grow and change.

male teacher  source

TEACHER:

Murat, here is a picture of the life cycle of a tomato. The tomato plant grows and changes. Tell me the steps of the tomato’s life cycle. Be sure to tell about every picture.

  

Image hyperlinked to source.

 

young boy  Source

STUDENT:

First, someone plants the seed.  Then, the seed grows into a little plant.  It gets bigger and bigger.  Next, the flower starts growing.  After a while, the flower turns into a tomato.  The tomato has seeds inside that can be planted. 

male teacher  source

TEACHER:

Now it’s your turn!  Look at this picture.  It shows the life cycle of a ladybug.  Tell me the steps of the ladybug’s life cycle.  Be sure to tell me about each picture.

 

 

         

Image hyperlinked to source.

 

 

T listens to S answer and notes or records the response.

Appendix 2: Writing Prompt (Compare/Contrast)

 

Now it’s your turn to write.

 

Teacher says:

Today, you are going to write about how these two young animals are the same and how they are different.  You may compare and contrast their appearances (how they look) or you may compare and contrast their life cycles.  How are the fawn and the caterpillar the same?  How are they different?  You should try to write 4-5 sentences.

 

 

 

This is a fawn.

This is a caterpillar.

Images are hyperlinked to their sources.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some words to help you:

Word Box

        fawn         baby        young        caterpillar

 

        same        both         different      but

 

       life cycle    grow        change       develop

 

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This lesson was carefully crafted by Christa Clore-Edmonds for the VDOE.

  

by the Virginia Department of Education, 2021