New! Habitat Needs of Animals
Fourth graders explore animal habitats. In this science instructional activity, 4th graders determine the preferred habitat of a snail. Students observe and record the movements of a snail in a test habitat and use the observations to determine the preferred habitat.
Third graders research how animals adapt in different environments. In this animal adaptation lesson, 3rd graders simulate blubber by using household items. Students experience how an elephant seal stays warm in cold climates. Students also research an animal of their choice and a habitat which they think the animal could possibly adapt.
Learning and Living
Students examine animal behaviors. In this field study lesson, students review animal behaviors that help them survive and reproduce. They observe the behavior of an animal and report their findings. The lesson is created for Alaskan wildlife but can easily be adapted for any region.
Healthy Forest Seeks Habitat Mates
A maritime forest is a forest near the sea. Learners examine a set of animals to see if the maritime forest habitat would meet all of their survival needs. The teacher first describes what types of things can be provided by a maritime forest, then she hands out fact sheets about various animals for learners to read. As each child reads the information, the class decides which animal is best suited for life in a maritime forest. Animal cut-outs are taped on the wall to create a maritime forest mural.
Observing Mealworms & Earthworms
Fifth graders build worm habitats and observe the activities of mealworms and earthworms. They experiment to show how the worms react to changes in light, temperature, touch, moisture, food, etc. They even watch as some of the mealworms change into beetles.
Students observe animal behaviors and record their observations. In this animal behavior instructional activity students record animal behaviors at specific intervals of time using an ethogram. Students may first practice an ethogram using a classmate. Students reflect on the animal behaviors they have observed.
African Animals in Habitats
Students investigate animal habitats in zoos. In this animal habitat lesson, students fill in a KWLH chart about zoos before looking at pictures of African animals in zoo habitats. They discuss what they see and take a field trip to the zoo where they take digital pictures of animals in their habitats. They complete an art project of a chosen habitat.
Coral Reef Habitat Match
Different animals live in different habitats, and each animal has specifically adaptive traits that make them tailor-made for their environments. This is true on land and in the ocean. Little ones examine how various marine animals have adapted traits that help them survive in coral reefs, on the sandy ocean floor, or in the open ocean. They discuss what types of animals live in which habitats, then they color, cut, and paste each animal onto a picture of their proper ocean home. Tip: This idea could make for a great wall mural, where the children create ocean animals and their ocean homes.
What Are You Up To?
Beware, this lesson plan requires the assistance of a class pet! Observation and predictions are key components of the scientific mind; they are also the focus of a fun lesson plan. Little learners discuss their daily routine, then they turn their attention to the classroom pet. They make predictions about things they think the pet will do during its day. They observe the pet throughout the week, charting what it does during every hour of class time. At the end of the week they discuss their findings and determine how correct their predictions were. Tip: If you don't have a class pet you can use your own, or even borrow one from a nearby grower. Chickens, rabbits, and ducks can all be borrowed, you could also do this lesson plan in conjunction with a chick hatching project.
Pandas, Flamingos and Blogs
Students use the computer to discover animals. In this animal lesson, students look at online webcams to view animals and write in a daily blog discussing what the animals are doing. They use either Pixie or PowerPoint to create an animal report.
An animal habitat is like the neighborhood where animals live. It's a place they can get everything they need to survive; air, food, shelter, and water. Explore animal habitats with your first graders. In small groups, they create a habitat diorama for an animal they are familiar with, such as a pet. After completing the project they share their habitats with the whole group. Note: The instructional activity is lacking, in that the children are not learning about animals living outside of the home.
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