Video segment about me, by the school district

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Life Cycles and More

Spring is a time of growth for lots of living things, and there are so many wonderful stories and factual books about this subject.  I love comparing and contrasting books with my children.  I use simple Venn diagrams to record my students' responses on 8.5"x11" paper, then turn that into a large poster board with the students' names and what they said.  You can use these responses to show comprehension growth over the school year. The students also love seeing these Venn diagrams in Science Center and reading what they and their classmates said.

"There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Chick" by Lucille Colandro

I also use books such as There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Chick by Lucille Colandro to teach sequencing and to compare this story to other versions in the "Old Lady Who..." series that we've read.  My students love announcing to me "Didn't you know, Mrs. Dudley?  This book is like that clover book!"  And inevitably, someone else says "Or it's like that lady who swallowed some snow and stuff!"  Then they all start talking and telling me how it's like about eight other "Old Lady Who..." books.  You see, I collect all of them and I love when the children make text-to-text connections.  So, I just let them talk about it with a partner until the excitement dies down, and then I pull out the real objects from the story and see if they can tell me which object she swallowed first.  I use real objects because it's the best way for young children to learn new vocabulary words.  It's also so much more meaningful when you can use your five senses to touch, see, smell, and even taste things that you're learning about.  After the children experience the real objects, you can place these pictures in a center, with velcro or magnets on the back, and have your students sequence them.  You can also have them cut them out and sequence them on sentence strips.

Old Lady Swallowed Chick Sequence

Two really cool songs about chickens that I found are both available on iTunes: "Little Baby Chick Chick" by DB Harriss and Melissa Hooker and "Chicken Dance" by Kids Sing.  They're both loads of fun.

If you need life cycle sequencing cards for frogs, chickens, ducks, plants, or butterflies, check out my Life Cycle Package on TPT!


  1. Just found your blog and I'm your newest follower. Love the book suggestions for life cycles. Thanks for being an inspiration to me!

    1. Thank you, Sheree, for leaving a comment! I'm glad this post was helpful to you. If there's anything else that you're looking for, just let me know and I'll write about it in a future post.