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Living World – Life cycles

Here are links to Science Learning Hub resources for primary teachers related to life cycles in the Living World strand of the New Zealand Curriculum. They come from a variety of collections (contexts, science stories, teacher ideas and news items) and are grouped by organism type.

Explore the life cycles of butterflies, crabs, eels, ferns, green-lipped mussels, human beings, īnanga (whitebait), insects, moths and plants.


Unit plan: Butterflies (lower primary)

Unit plan: Butterflies (upper primary)

Butterflies – Science Story

Monarch butterflies – Looking Closer Article

White butterflies – Looking Closer Article

White butterfly life cycle – Student Activity


Crabs finding home – NZ Research

Crab life cycle – Image


Longfin eels – Science Ideas and Concepts

Īnanga life cycle - image

Life cycle of freshwater eels - image

Longfin eel – on a path to extinction? – News Item


What is a fern? – Science Ideas and Concepts

Fern propagation – Student Activity

Why are ferns unique? – Video

Fern reproduction – Video

Human beings

Fertilisation to adulthood – Timeline

Īnanga (whitebait)

Whitebait – Science Ideas and Concepts

Īnanga and other whitebait – Video


Scale insect lifecycle – Video


Rearing insects – Student Activity

Rearing moths – Video


Unit plan: Pollination (lower primary)

Seeds, Stems and Spores – Science Story

Plant reproduction – Science Ideas and Concepts

Plant reproduction without seeds – Science Ideas and Concepts

The seed-flower life cycle – Science Ideas and Concepts

Flowering plant life cycles – Looking Closer Article

Pollination pairs – Student Activity

Useful links

Diagram showing the life cycle of the New Zealand green-lipped mussel
(Perna canaliculus, kūtai).
http://biotechlearn.org.nz/focus_stories/farming_green_lipped_mussels/images/mussel_life_cycle external link