For Teachers

Letter to Educators



Why Study Rare Breeds?

ALBC Conservation Priorty List


~ K-2 Overview


~ 3-5 Overview



Farm Visits

Second Grade Unit: EVALUATE



• Animals have life cycles that include being born, developing into adults, reproducing, and eventually dying. The details of this life cycle are different for different organisms.
• Animals move, grow and change over time.
• All organisms must be able to obtain and use resources, grow, reproduce and maintain stable internal conditions while living in a constantly changing external environment.
• Explore the benefits of diversity.
• Students recognize similarities and differences in individuals, families, and groups.


Teams of three are asked to perform, draw pictures and create a life-cycle diagram depicting the life cycle of their farm animal. Students might choose to all perform (two parents and one baby), and all draw. Creative expression is encouraged, as long as the goal is achieved. Ten farm animals will cover 30 students.


Overhead of LifeCycleChart.pdf. Art supplies: crayons, paper, colored pencils. Pictures of farm animals from such sources as: TenSpecies.pdf, the playing cards, kit posters and the slideshow. All images in the slideshow can be printed and posted for student reference to inform the unit.




1. Divide students into teams of three and assign each team a farm animal.

2. Tell them the goal is for them to produce three things:

a. Drawings of their animal at different ages.

b. A performance of the animal family. For the performance, students will act out the roles of father, mother and baby. One student might do baby to adulthood, and become a mother who partners with a father. Or, they might begin as a family and the baby grows up. The objective is for the three students to depict the life cycle of the animals.

c. A diagram showing the animal's lifecycle: birth, growth, adulthood, reproduction (a new life), death. The life cycle should show the same elements as the performance. For example, for a life cycle a student might include: birth, growth and development, independence, adulthood, reproduction and death. You may want to assign the main steps and have students add to the cycle as they wish.

Other steps of this process can be added as students can handle such as: walks/swims/moves around on it's own; independent from mother/weaned; gathers it's own food; maturity; cares for it's young; no longer able to have babies; grandparent; decline/loss of youth and abilities; old age; no longer able to move around on it's own, no longer able to feed itself, death.

These additions help students see life on a continuum, illustrating how we return to many of the conditions of infant status as we approach death. This level of detail and discussion of death needs to be handled with discretion, according to school policy and a teacher's ability to attenuate. The real message of the unit is that all living things go through similar stages in the cycle of life.


Literary Choices

- Chickens Aren't The Only Ones by Ruth Heller
- From Egg to Chicken by Gerald Legg
- The Chicken or the Egg? by Allan Fowler
- The Egg (First Discovery Book) by Gallimard Jeunesse
- Egg to Chick by Millicent E. Selsam
- The Chicken or the Egg? Big Book by Allan Fowler

Navigating the Unit

2nd - 5 E Summary
2nd - Engage
2nd - Explore
2nd - Explain
2nd - Expand
2nd - Evaluate
2nd - Supplement
2nd - Embryology Project

Noah's Ark Today is property of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.
Copyright 2006.

American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, PO Box 477, Pittsboro, NC 27312