Maggots Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

Do your students know that flies emerge from maggots? This lesson plan will help you teach your students about maggots and their life cycle using a text lesson. A small group activity reinforces key content.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • describe the physical characteristics of a maggot
  • explain the presence of maggots in the aftermath of the battle of Gettysburg
  • list and summarize the stages of maggot's life cycle


45 to 60 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.


Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.


Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6-8 texts and topics.


Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).


Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms.



  • Begin by displaying the photographs of maggots for the class.
    • What do you see in the photographs?
  • Pass out the paper copies of the text lesson, one to each student.
  • Ask the students to read the introduction and 'Gettysburg, 1863' section of the text lesson.
    • Did you guess that the organisms featured in the photographs are maggots?
    • What is meant by the phrase 'the precursors to the fly'?
    • Why were there so many flies at Gettysburg?
    • How do flies start their lives?
  • Ask the class to read the 'Maggots' section of the text lesson.
    • What is a maggot?
    • What are the physical characteristics of the maggot?
    • How many larval stages does the maggot progress through?
  • Tell the students to read the 'Life Cycle' section of the text lesson.
    • How does the life cycle of the maggot begin?
    • What mistake did medical providers in Gettysburg make?
    • How are maggots used in modern healthcare?
  • Have the class read the 'Maggot Birth' section of the text lesson.
    • What happens after a fly lays eggs?
    • What is molting?
  • Instruct the students to read the 'Pre-Pupa to Pupa' section of the text lesson.
    • What happens at the end of the larval stage?
    • How long does it take for the larva to transform into a pupa?
  • Tell the students to read the 'Pupa to Rebirth' section of the text lesson.
    • What happens when the larva enters the pupa phase?
    • How long does the pupa stage last?
    • How long do flies live?
  • Have the class read the remainder of the text lesson.
    • What does temperature have to do with maggots?
    • How do high temperatures benefit maggots?
  • Review key facts about maggots with the class before continuing.
  • Distribute the worksheet to the class, one to each student.
  • Have the students use the paper copy of the text lesson as a resource for completing the quiz.
  • When all students have finished the quiz, review each question and answer with the class.

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