This sequence of NGSS aligned activities/assessments begins with an assessment of students’ prior knowledge of the Tenebrio Molitor, also known as the mealworm or darkling beetle, which goes through complete metamorphosis during its life cycle. As they study the full life cycle, they make conceptual models by drawing and writing.
Prior knowledge is assessed as students write and draw pictures to illustrate how they think mealworms will change over time. Then they cut and paste pictures to model and predict the sequence of the mealworm life cycle. Students use observations and measurements to make conceptual models (words and drawings) that describe mealworms. Then students construct a habitat for their mealworms and observe and describe the mealworms every day. Students keep a journal and use conceptual models (words and drawings) to record changes in the mealworms over time. They investigate mealworm movements and trace their path. Finally, students write about what mealworms need to survive, the mealworm life cycle, and how the mealworms change over time.
This sequence of NGSS aligned activities/assessments includes three main activities for observing the behavior of mealworms, a journal page, a rubric for scoring, a writing assessment, and a teacher’s guide with background material. All you need to do is add the mealworms!
Use these activities as a hands-on part of your Organisms Life Cycles Studies.
3-LS1 From molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
3-LS1-1. Develop models to describe that organisms have unique and diverse life cycles but all have in common birth, growth, reproduction, and death. [Clarification Statement: Changes organisms go through during their life form a pattern.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment of plant life cycles is limited to those of flowering plants. Assessment does not include details of human reproduction.]