Over the past two months, third graders on the Lynn campus have been observing the life cycles of two different insects: the milkweed bug and the darkling beetle. Our STEM curriculum provides students the opportunity to observe the patterns of growth and development for each of these organisms and to analyze these organisms and their different life cycles. Students observed and made weekly log entries of the milkweed bug by drawing a picture of the bug and noting the life cycle stage. The milkweed bug has 3 stages of development: egg, nymph and adult. Students observed the bug grow from nymph to adult and saw these colorful black and orange bugs change more in size than any other property we could observe.
At the same time, students observed mealworms and logged their observations each week by drawing a picture, and then noting the stage of development and any growth from the previous week. Similar to butterflies, mealworms have 4 stages of development including egg, larva, pupa and adult. They undergo complete metamorphosis during the pupa stage before transforming into an adult darkling beetle. Just this week, students have finally observed the black adult darkling beetle! It has been interesting to observe how completely this organism changes through each stage of its development.
The students’ intrigue with both of these tiny creatures has been a reminder to us of the diversity and patterns in God’s creation. We have learned that organisms have unique life cycles, but all life cycles include birth, growth, reproduction and death. God is an intelligent creator and just as he has designed these creatures to morph and change (sometimes undergoing a complete transformation like the darkling beetle), he also designed each of us to grow physically, intellectually and spiritually. Our ultimate hope is that each of our students will undergo a complete metamorphosis spiritually and will know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
Rebecca Stuart has been teaching on the Lynn Campus for several years in the early elementary grades. This year was her first year teaching 3rd grade.