Call/WhatsApp: +1 914 416 5343

Learning and Innovation Skills and Student Assessment


Learning has evolved over the years since the concept was first integrated into the curricula of contemporary schooling institutions. There is now a new concept which is known as Universal Design for Learning (UDL) (UDL At A Glance, 2010). Simply put, it is the process of improving academic achievement and retention through the usage of a variety of methods which are tailored by an educator to meet the specific needs of all students within his/her scope.

Title: The Life Cycle of Butterflies- Day 1

Subject: Science

Grade Level(s)- Pre-K – 2

Lesson Description

One of the lessons that utilizes the UDL is ‘The Life Cycle of Butterflies, Day 1’, which is a science lesson for students attending Pre-K-2 grade (CAST, 2011). The lesson is divided into two parts where the focus of the complete lesson is on the life cycle of butterflies which encompasses where they live, what they eat and a description of their growth stages. The lesson is designed in such a way as to enable students not only learn about the life cycle of butterflies but to also extend the knowledge learnt in the lesson to realize the differences between the butterflies’ cycle and other animals. The lesson is designed to engage the students in the learning process by being given a variety of opportunities to engage in activities that will enhance their uptake of knowledge about the subject matter. To this end, the first part of the lesson will explore and teach on the four stages of a butterfly’s life cycle.

Principle 1

            One of the principles of meeting UDL guidelines is having multiple means of representation during teaching (Edyburn & Howery, 2014). In the presentation of the lesson, the teacher will use a variety of tools to present the life cycle of butterflies. Some of these include projection using an interactive software, a chalkboard or a whiteboard and leading the class in brainstorming sessions to pique the students’ interests and concentration. The brainstorming session will be a prequel to a class discussion where the students will organize and categorize the various ideas raised by their fellow students. Thereafter, the teacher will summarize the key points raised in the discussion then ask the students to draw what they presume the life cycle of a butterfly to look like.

            One other way of encouraging multiple means of representation is by reading a book which describes the life cycle of butterflies (CAST, 2011). As the teacher reads the book, students are asked questions about the important stages of the life cycle of butterflies described in the book. Furthermore, the teacher poses after reading about a stage to ask one of the students to write the name of that stage on the board. Conversely, the teacher asks the students to write the discoveries they are making as the reading is going on. The aim of this exercise is to enable the various students utilize their strong points in the lesson; some students could learn well by listening, drawing, visualizing or discussing with their fellows.

Principle 2

            Use of multiple means of action and expression is one of the principles encouraged in the UDL lesson plans (UDL At A Glance, 2010). The teacher in this module provides the students with material such as audiobooks, websites or physical books with which they can advance their knowledge on the topic of discussion. Furthermore, the teacher asks the students to present their ideas either through drawings, discussions or stating out loud what they know concerning the life cycle of butterflies. The next step in the representation of the information learnt is by the teacher availing a set of cards which are akin to the life cycle of a butterfly. The students are then asked to sequence the cards according to their understanding of the life cycle of the butterflies.

Principle 3

            The final guideline in UDL is the principle of engagement where students are given choices to fill their interests on the topic. The teacher in this model was aware of the different interests of the students and hence provided four learning centers in the classroom and the choice to either work alone or in pairs (CAST, 2011). The students have a choice of visiting two of the four centers as follows; the first center has physical materials like books, pencils, markers and crayons which the students will use to author their book on what they understand about butterflies; center two provides an opportunity for students to write about what they learnt; the third center has material which the students can use to make drawings representing the life cycle of butterflies and the last center is the graphic organizer where the students can use either words or pictures to complete maps representative of the life cycle of butterflies. The choice left to students will enable them to pick the method that they learn best and thus, they will have better understanding and retention of the subject matter.


            The lesson plan is inclusive in a variety of ways. The learners are motivated to learn by the teacher availing a variety of different learning material like using software which is projected, writing points on a white/chalkboard and utilizing brainstorming sessions. These methods of teaching the student not only keeps them interested and engaged but also instils more information as their needs are catered for (Staines, 2012). The teacher also uses videos, books and pictures to enable the students learn about the life cycle of butterflies. The method of using a variety of sources is vital since the students in the class learn differently. Some learn best through the usage of books which describe the subject while others do so either by use of descriptive pictures or videos. Furthermore, the students are given an option to choose from four learning centers hence they will be comfortable acquiring knowledge since they feel that they are in control of their learning process.

            The mode of instruction in the lesson is varied and entails the use of a myriad of methods. From the onset of the lesson, the teacher described the various means that will be utilized in the teaching. These methods are use of film, real-time videos, pictures and books which were provided as instruction on the life cycle of butterflies. The teacher took into consideration the fact that students learn differently and thus, availed the aforementioned material for use on the lesson to meet the various learning needs of the students. Furthermore, the teacher encouraged the students to express their understanding of the topic through means that they were comfortable in. The students could either draw, write a book about what they understood, use sequence cards to present the life cycle or fill the information on graphical representations.

            The lesson plan has changed my understanding of and appreciation for instructional planning in modelling and presentation of a lesson. First, the lesson plan entailed an inclusive method for ensuring that the students understood the concepts of the topic. A variety of means were used to represent the life cycle of butterflies. Thereafter, students were encouraged to use the means that they were comfortable with in expressing what they had learnt about the topic at hand. And finally, they were encouraged to present what they had learned through any two of the four methods provided.  The model was comprehensive as it considered every learning need of the students in the class. To this end, my understanding has evolved to realize the need for inclusivity in the design of lesson plans to cater for the needs of all students.

            Owing to the vast amount of information gathered from the analysis of the lesson plan, I will certainly borrow some concepts for use in the designing of my lesson plans. One of the concepts is the use of various media to present information to my students. I will incorporate different channels in my lesson plans to meet the needs of the various different students in my class. The other strategy that I would like to borrow is the use of engagement. I will always give my students various options to choose from through which they can express their understanding of the concepts that I teach. 


            The main aim of UDL was to enhance learning by eliminating barriers to the activity. The aim has been met in the lesson plan that I analyzed and consequently, I have gained tips that will make my teaching practice more enjoyable and beneficial to my students.

Leave a Reply