Metamorphosis of Organisms 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.

Need a simple way to teach students about metamorphosis? This lesson plan uses a text lesson to describe the basics of this scientific phenomenon and an activity allows for active observation.

Learning Objectives

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

  • define 'metamorphosis'
  • distinguish between different types of metamorphosis
  • summarize the process of metamorphosis
  • illustrate the stages of metamorphosis in the life cycle of a butterfly


1 to 2 hours

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.


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).


Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic.


  • Photographs of a caterpillar and a butterfly
  • The quiz associated with the lesson
  • A video clip to show the process of metamorphosis that occurs in the butterfly's life cycle
  • Heavy white drawing paper
  • Colored pencils
  • Hole punch
  • Yarn

Key Vocabulary

  • Metamorphosis
  • Complete metamorphosis
  • Incomplete metamorphosis


  • Begin by displaying the photos for the class.
  • Ask them what they see in the photos. What do these things have in common? Discuss this as a class.
  • Now have them read the introduction, Differences in Appearance, and Metamorphosis Everywhere sections of the text lesson Metamorphosis: Definition & Process.
  • Review the definition of metamorphosis with the class, using the caterpillar and butterfly as examples of the beginning and end of the process.
  • Now have the students read the rest of the text lesson.
  • Can they identify the type of metamorphosis that is experienced by the caterpillar? Discuss this as a class briefly.
  • Complete the associated quiz aloud with the class.

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