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Royal National Park Environmental Education Centre

Royal National Park Environmental Education Centre

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Life cycles in motion

Science and technology

Program overview

Students use iPads to create a stop motion video of the life cycle of an invertebrate. At the end of the lesson, they host a ‘film festival’, playing all the videos on the big screen for the class.

Session details

90-120 minutes. Up to 3 sessions (one class each) per day.

Key syllabus outcomes

  • Students question, plan and conduct scientific investigations, collect and summarise data and communicate using scientific representations (ST2-1WS-S)
  • Students compare features and characteristics of living and non-living things (ST2-4LW-S)

Inquiry questions

  • What are the similarities and differences between the life cycles of living things?


Life cycles of living things


  • identify that living things have life cycles (ACSSU072)
  • conduct an investigation into the life cycle of plants and/or animals (ACSSU072) SciT

Learning experiences

Students watch a presentation to learn about stop motion and view examples of stop motion videos. They learn how to use the iStopMotion app on the centre’s iPads and watch a demonstration of making a simple video.

Students move outside to collect natural materials (e.g. leaves, bark, seeds, pods, sticks) for use in their videos. In groups of 2-3 students, they create a short video showing movement of a natural object. Students share their videos with the class on the big screen and discuss ways of improving their videos.

Students view sample life cycle stop motions and storyboards. Each group chooses an animal and develops a storyboard (scaffolded storyboards are provided). Students create props, set up a background and collect all materials for their video. They create their video in the iStopMotion app and narrate their video in iStopMotion or iMovie.

Finally, they celebrate with a film festival, viewing all the videos on the big screen.