science education

Exploring Nature Science Education Resource:

Life Science, Earth Science, and Physical Science Resources for K-12

Life Cycle Flip Books

Life Cycle Flip Books

Age: 3-6 grade

Purpose: Students will create a flip book that illustrates the growth and change of a plant or animal as it goes through its life cycle. This will familiarize students to life cycles and how they differ between living things.


Construction paper, 3 sheets per student

Copies of attached growth sheets (there are 4 different life cycles included in the series; plant, insect, amphibian and bird)

Colored pencils, scissors, glue, stapler


1. Begin with a discussion of life cycles. Using the attached life cycle charts you can make over heads or hand outs and describe how different kinds of plants and animals change and grow. Compare birds and mammals that just get larger until they mature — to insects, that actually change (introduce the term metamorphosis) throughout their lives.

2. Prepare a flip book in advance to show them how they work.

3. Pass out one animal sheet per student (each sheet contains the life cycle of one living thing. There are four different life cycles to choose from, so the class can do an assortment.)

4. Have students number their life cycle, so that they really study each stage and know their animal/plant well.

5. Have students color their life cycle, then cut them out neatly, each about the same size.

6. Have students put their life cycles in order (they can do this ahead of time by placing numbers in the circles provided but once they cut them out they will end up reordering them anyway.)

7. Give each student 3 sheets of construction paper. They should fold them in half twice and then cut along the fold lines to make 4 equal squares. They should do this for each sheet, ending up with 12 squares.

8. Have the students arrange their life cycle tiles in the correct order on their desks. Then they will glue each picture on the right side of each square of construction paper. Remind them that if they glue the tiles in the same spot on each page, the effect will be better.

9. An extra half sheet of construction paper can be used to make a cover for their book. They should draw a picture of the animal or plant they have chosen on the cover.

10. Once the glue is dry, make sure the stages are in order one more time and staple the books together.

11. Have the students pass their books around for all the try.

12. The book works best if you squeeze it into a c-shape with the left hand so the edges of all the pages show... then very slowly flip through with the right hand thumb. Have fun!

Life Cycle Flip Books
Life Cycle Flip Books
Life Cycle Flip Books
Life Cycle Flip Books
Life Cycle Flip Books

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When citing a WEBSITE the general format is as follows.
Author Last Name, First Name(s). "Title: Subtitle of Part of Web Page, if appropriate." Title: Subtitle: Section of Page if appropriate. Sponsoring/Publishing Agency, If Given. Additional significant descriptive information. Date of Electronic Publication or other Date, such as Last Updated. Day Month Year of access < URL >.

Here is an example of citing this page:

Amsel, Sheri. "Life Cycle Flip Books" Exploring Nature Educational Resource ©2005-2018. January 17, 2018
< > has more than 2,000 illustrated animals. Read about them, color them, label them, learn to draw them.

cheetah, tiger, panda, fox, bear, cougar