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Elementary Science

Animal Habitats!

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Natashia Silva Natashia Silva 445 Points

Hi Everyone! I am a student teacher in a first grade classroom! Currently, I am creating a lesson unit on animal habitats. I wanted to see if anyone had creative ideas or resources to include about animal habitats? I am teaching first graders, so I am looking for things that will keep them engaged, that will allow them to explore or create, and that they can apply to the real world. Thank you and any advice is great! 

Mary Bigelow Mary Bigelow 10275 Points

Hi Natashia-- Sometimes when we think of habitats, we focus on faraway places such as rainforests or the polar regions. You might want to stay local and do a study of your own schoolyard as a habitat. Even if it's mostly macadam, there are still living things there. You could use hand lenses to explore insects, binoculars to watch for birds, dig up some dirt to look for other insects (even my seventh graders enjoyed that!). And I would also incorporate plants into your study of habitats. Let us know the "big idea" or focus question of your unit on habitats. From that, even more ideas could evolve. Mary B

Katherine Nguyen Katherine Nguyen 695 Points

Hi Natashia,

Just some suggestion, but there is a habitat song that would ben engaged and catchy that the students could sing along to after listening to it (lyrics are provided!): The Habitat Song: An idea for the create part is to assign each of your students an animal then have a recording sheet provided that shows: 'My animal is ________.' 'My animals lives in the _________.' 'My animal must have _____ (what kind of things the animal needs to survive in that environment).' Then you can have books available or take a trip to the school's library to find more information about that animal's habitat. Then after filling out the sheet, you can have the student bring in a shoe book prior where they can create their own habitat for the animal. This may take a lot of materials and support for the students. Hope that helps! Good luck!

Katie Brkich Katie Brkich 2995 Points

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Yixiu Yan Yixiu Yan 340 Points

Hi Natashia, I think you could classify the animals first, such as kin or non-kin, and or ocean, mammal, birds, cold blooded animal, amphibian, etc. Then you teach children the animal habitats depend on each category. You can teach children what the land looks like, how’s the weather, what food animals can find in there, etc. You can also just point out one kinds of animal, like tiger. You can teach children there are many different kinds of tiger live all over the world, and there are living in the different habitats, then give examples. You may also find some video to attract children’s attention, then prepare some hands on activities.

Naomi Bourrous Naomi Bourrous 465 Points

Natasha I think a great activity would be to teach all of the concepts around habitats and then have students do a project to create a habitat for an animal of their choosing. They will be more interested if they are allowed to choose their own animal. They could use a shoe box and then create the habitat inside. It would be an inexpensive way for them to make an animal habitat at home or in the classroom. You could ask parents for donations if you are wanting to do the project in the classroom.

Jennifer Gaw Jennifer Gaw 575 Points

Hi Naomi! I am actually having my students create a habitat from a shoe box for my 5E! I am really excited to see what the students come up with. I hope you try it out as well. My students are in third grade. But, I think every elementary grade level could benefit from this mini project. It allows the students to be creative. I am having my table groups work together. Each table group is getting a different habitat that they must create and add food chains and food webs within. I would just have them do the habitat though in first grade. Maybe later, if they learn about food chains, you could add the different animals to their already created habitat. The students will love creating, displaying, and explaining their creations!

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