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Life Cycles #2: Infancy, Babies

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Lesson Overview:

In this lesson, students think about the first part of the human life cycle, infancy and the toddler stages.  Using some of the library’s books about babies and toddlers, children will play “Guess the Baby” and be able to explain some of the things that babies and young children can do.  This is a Unit of Inquiry lesson with a strong literature connection and a fun game!

Lesson Plan:

Suggested Grades:



To understand that all people started life as babies, that babies require special care, and that there are many things that babies can do.  (AASL 1.1.1, “Follow an inquiry based process in seeking knowledge in curricular subjects . . . )

Suggested Time:

35-40 minutes

Success Criteria:

Each class will prepare a short summary of at least ten things that babies can do.  Each student will also play the “Guess the Baby” game.

Lesson Outline:

1. Introduction:

In the last lesson the students learned the stages of a human life cycle.  Ask the children to remind you of what the stages of a human life cycle are.

Explain that today they will learn more about the first phase of a human life cycle, infancy and early childhood.  When human beings are in their infancy, we say that they are babies.  Ask the students how many of them have a baby in their home or in their family.  Allow time for one or two of them to tell about their babies.

Mention that later in the lesson they will get to see some baby pictures of special people.  But, do not give away that you have collected baby pictures from their teachers!

2. Main:

Share Guess the Baby by Simon French and Donna Rawlins.  Make sure the children understand that:

  • Every person, no matter how old, started life as a baby.
  • Babies are not able to do what school-aged children can do.
  • Babies need special care and lot of love to grow and learn.

Ask the children what we can do to help take care of babies.  Record their ideas on a piece of flipchart paper so that it can go back to class with them.

Teach a few pages from All About Me by Selina Young.  The book is too long to use in its entirety, but it will help the kids start to brainstorm about what babies and young children learn to do in their first few years of life.  If you prefer a shorter book that does the same thing, consider using Baby Can Bounce! by Lynne Chapman.

Ask the children what babies can do.  Record their ideas on flipchart paper so that it can go back to class with them.  (Example: Babies can cry, babies can smile, babies can eat, babies can sleep, babies can reach for a toy, babies can laugh, etc.)

Play “Guess the Baby” just like in the story.  Ask the children if they can correctly identify the people that these babies have grown up to be!  See “Resources” for how to prepare this game.  I like to play the game last, because after the game the kids will be very wound up and excited – there will be no more teaching moments once you show the pictures and let them start guessing.

3. Conclusion:

Wrap up by reminding the children how special babies are, and what a special time of life infancy is.  Challenge them to find a book to take home that is a story about a baby or a family with a baby.  Also, if you have board books, encourage the children to take home a board book and share it with a baby in their families.

  1. Guess the Baby by Simon French and Donna Rawlins.
  2. All About Me: A Hundred Things That Happened To Me Between 0 and 3 by Selina Young.
  3. Baby Can Bounce! By Lynne Chapman.
  4. Baby photos from all the teachers who work with this grade level, mounted for display. I usually just make a “lift-the-flap” type activity on a piece of flip chart paper.  Be sure to include teaching assistants, specialist teachers, the school nurse, cafeteria workers, and administrative colleagues.  Gather as many baby pictures as you can so that the guessing game will be fun and challenging.  It is best to prepare a set of baby pictures for each class so that they can take the game with them and use it throughout the unit.
  5. Flipchart paper and markers to record children’s ideas.

This lesson can fits well in a unit on families, but I have placed it in a unit on human life cycles.  It requires a bit of preparation because you have to gather and prepare the photos, but the effort is well worth it.

The “Guess the Baby” game was originally the idea of my Early Years colleagues at The International School of Stuttgart.  When I was asked to provide my picture, I realized what a perfect learning activity this is and that it matched Guess the Baby by Simon French.  I’ve kept my picture in the library ever since with the simple caption “Guess Who?  1969 Kindergarten” (attached).  It attracts a lot of attention, and the children are continually fascinated to see their teachers as children.

If colleagues do not have baby pictures, you can use any picture from early childhood as well.  You do not need to be strict about the photo being of a baby, just anything that would show the teacher or  member of staff as a very young person.

Recommended books for this lesson:
  1. Guess the Baby by Simon French and Donna Rawlins.
  2. All About Me: A Hundred Things That Happened To Me Between 0 and 3 by Selina Young.
  3. Baby Can Bounce! By Lynne Chapman.
Key Terms:

Life Cycles, Babies, Infants, Growth and Development


Guess Who 1969 Kindergarten