Animal Lifetimes

Information for Teachers

Curriculum links

Australian Science Standards

BS (ACSSU44) Living things can be grouped on basis of observable features and distinguished from non-living things

BS (ACSSU44) Characteristics of living things such as growing, moving, sensitivity and reproducing

BS (ACSSU44) Range of different living things

New Zealand Science Achievement Objectives

LW: There are life processes common to all living things and that these occur in different ways

LW: How living things are suited to their particular habitat and how they respond to environmental changes, both natural and human-induced

LW: Plants, animals, and other living things can be grouped into science-based classifications

Helpful websites

Students can use words like these in their searches:





How to search the internet

1 Keep your request short

Fewer words will give a more accurate search.

2 Choose exactly what you want

For example: Arctic Circle Climate

3 Use quotes

Double quotes around a set of words tell the search engine to consider those exact words in that exact order without any change. For example: “Arctic Circle Climate”

4 Use the plus sign (+)

If you add a plus sign (+) between words, the internet will search for all the words. For example: migrate+birds+whales+mammal

5 Use the minus sign (–) to say what you don’t want

Use a minus sign (–) to show words you do not want to appear in your results. For example: if you search for burrowing animals and do not want mammals in your search,  –mammals will exclude mammals. Note that you need to put a space before the minus sign for the word to be excluded.

6 Be very clear about what you don’t want

Part 1
Ask questions and make predictions

After reading Animal Lifetimes, you will know more about the amazing differences in the lifetimes of some animals.

List your questions

  • Compare your list with questions that others have.
  • Choose a question you would like to investigate.
  • You can work alone, with a partner, or in a small group.

You may want to choose one or more of these questions to investigate

Q1. Find out about some animals that are able to look after themselves from the time of their birth and other animals that need a great deal of help from parents.

Q2. How are the life cycles of three very different animals similar or different?

Q3. Compare animals have the longest lives with those that live for the shortest times.

Go to Part 2 Plan and investigate →

Part 2
Plan and investigate

Do searches in the internet or in books or talk to people who can help to find the information you are looking for.

Your teacher may suggest suitable websites for further information.

Go to Part 3 Record and analyse data →

Part 3
Record and analyse data

Find a way of recording your information that will allow you to see any patterns in the data.

Data Chart for How many young do they have?
(Download and change to suit your information)

Download Chart
Go to Part 4 Evaluate the information →

Part 4
Evaluate the information

1. Look over the information you have gathered and the patterns you have found.

Does any of this information surprise you?

2. Search for other patterns.

What do the lifecycles of animals that have short lifetimes have in common?

What do the lifecycles of animals that have long lifetimes have in common?

3. Make notes about what you find.

Go to Part 5 Communicate and share ideas →

Part 5
Communicate and share ideas

Look over all of the information that you have gathered in your investigation.

What are the most important ideas about animal lifetimes?

Make a chart showing the most important ideas.

Download Chart
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