Case Studies 2024


Forums / Life Science / Teaching Basic Needs to 2nd Graders!

Life Science

Teaching Basic Needs to 2nd Graders!

Author Post
Jada McCauley Jada McCauley 830 Points

Hello everyone! I have constructed a lesson for a 2nd grade science class. The lesson focuses on the 4 basic needs of anmals. Does anyone have any ideas or thoughts on a good way to actually explain the lesson? Something different than just teaching from a powerpoint or having the students watch a video? Thanks!


Lindsay Melching Lindsay Melching 185 Points

Hi, Jada.  I have used this activity for population growth, but I think it could also be a fun way to learn about the basic needs of animals.  It only has 3 basic needs, but you could modify it to include 4.  I found this link for the activity.

Jamison Bowlds Jamison Bowlds 1196 Points

You could have the students do a hands on activity that consist of them placing certains things on a T chart of want or need. This will allow the students to think as a class or group and get moving out of their seats. 

Andrea Michaca Andrea Michaca 825 Points

Hey Jada!

I think that a good way to explain the lesson would be to have a physical model to show students the four basic needs of an animal. So for example, you could choose any animal and show their source for food, water, and their shelter so that you can have an actual visual when you are explaining. 

George Mehler George Mehler 1575 Points

Hello fellow science teacher,
I am replying you behalf of Funsciencedemos YouTube Channel that is home to hundreds of free videos for ideas for teachers and students to recreate in the classroom. Science is our passion and we are so excited to share our engaging, kid-teacher-parent friendly, and interactive lessons with you to use in the classroom or at home. Our videos adhere to the common core science standards, encompass a wide variety of science concepts, and are specifically geared toward younger learners. All videos on the FunScienceDemos channel come with an English subtitle that can be translated into almost any language, making science lessons accessible virtually any place in the world.  
We encourage you check it out and spread the word! We post new science videos once a month, please subscribe our channel.
The FunScienceDemos Team

 Michelle Schuster 85 Points

Hello Jada, I love the picture perfect science books  they integrate reading and science.  There is a lesson called the amazing caterpillar and students learn about the life cycle of a catepillar along with the life characteristics of animals.   The lesson also the books , 'From Catepillar to Butterfly' and 'The Very Hungry Catepillar'.  The lessons use the 5 E's and are very user friendly.

Zachary Johnson Zachary Johnson 1075 Points

One way you could demonstrate the basic needs to the students is to adopt a class pet. Most teachers would prefer a easy to manage classroom pet like a goldfish, but I have seen some teachers get a class hamster that was adopted by the school and eventually passed around between classes.

Justice Taylor Justice Taylor 1155 Points

In elementary school we watched a video over the basic needs of living things around the world and then focused on a plant and a specific animal for the rest of the year. Our teacher bought us our own plant to take care of and keep alive all year long and we had two hamsters we had to take care of as well. This was a great learning experience because we were the care givers for each of the hamsters and for the plant. We had to take responsibility and learn how to take care of two different living organisms. 


Here is also a video you could incorportate into a lesson about the basic needs - 

Morgan Ideoka Ideoka Morgan 710 Points

Perhaps one method you could try is something we have here in Hawaii, called p4c. You have students sit in a circle, and you could ask the class a question such as 'What are some important things we need to live?' in order to start activating their own background knowledge. You would need some kind of object, however (such as a yarn ball) for the students to use to toss to their classmates. Whoever has this object is allowed to speak and explain their ideas. Once enough students have spoken, you could ask 'Do you think this is the same for animals?' in order to help them build these connections. Perhaps you could also have the students answer these questions by working in groups and drawing their answers out?

Olivia Frick Olivia Frick 2080 Points

I know that for one activity I have seen, teachers will use the web concept and have students act out the different parts! Using string, you can have students hold one piece of it, and see what happens to the population if you have one student be removed (sat down, let go of string) 

Post Reply

Forum content is subject to the same rules as NSTA List Serves. Rules and disclaimers