Study of a Bug’s Life: Insect Life Stages

The next stop on our Week of Bugs tour was a study of the insect life stages. I read in God’s Design for Life: World of Animals book about complete and incomplete metamorphosis and the different stages of the process. While I was reading, we illustrated the whole process with our very cool plastic insect life stages.

study of insect metamorphosis

As we read about eggs, I had the kids find all of the eggs from each of the different insect sets. We had a butterfly egg, ant eggs, beetle eggs, praying mantis soft and hard egg cases, and ladybug eggs.

We looked at the praying mantis nymphs and talked about the three stages of incomplete metamorphosis.

When we read about larvae, the kids found all of the plastic insect larvae and lined them up for me. Then, we talked about pupae and the chrysalis.

Last, I had the kids each choose two insects and take me through the complete (or incomplete) metamorphosis. Once again, the plastic insects made teaching and drilling so much fun!

study of insect life stages
Metamorphosis of a Darkling Beetle


study of butterfly life stages
Metamorphosis of a Painted Lady Butterfly

We wrapped up the week with a look at arachnids (spiders and scorpions) and, on the last day, a video about the monarch butterfly.

It was absolutely as much fun as I had hoped it would be. And really, though I had originally planned for our lessons to be once a week for a month, I think it turned out even better to have done it all in one week. Now to go catch some arthropods!

Published by Tracy
Our life is creative chaos, and our homeschool is loud and busy and distracted and challenging and lovely. My name is Tracy, and I homeschool my crew of three kids with ADHD/dyslexia, finding creative ways to use their strengths to teach their weaknesses. As a homeschooled homeschooler, I love customizing curriculum and making adjustments to incorporate fun, hands-on projects for out-of-the-box learners. Stop by to find grace for the messes and mistakes, and knowledge to pick up the pieces and make something special. Let’s grow together!