An animated sequence that explores the common features of all animal lifecycles. New young life, growth, reproduction and ageing are explained in simple terms. There’s a particular focus on the metamorphosis of the butterfly, with the various stages of its development shown. Some key vocabulary is introduced, ‘metamorphosis’, ‘larva’, ‘chrysalis’, ‘adult’ and ‘reproduce’.

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After viewing, you could ask: ‘How do new animals come into the world?’ Establish that some animals are born live from their mother’s bodies, while others hatch from an egg. Pupils could list animals that belong in either group. The children could go on to photograph examples of animal eggs. They could photograph and examine chicken’s eggs. They could look for insect eggs in a nearby open area – the undersides of leaves are a good place to find them. In early spring, pupils could also photograph frog spawn. Using a variety of information sources, the children could go on to compile images of the creatures that might hatch from the eggs they have observed. The class could display all their findings as a digital slideshow.