Lesson 2

Create a Habitat

 
Make copies of the reproducible. Have students read the text and answer the Reflect and Review questions independently. Or read the text aloud and discuss the answers to the questions together.

Activity:

In this activity, students will pick an animal and create a habitat where it can survive. Students will need to consider their animal's four basic needs for survival. After creating the animal's habitat, the students will make predictions on what would happen if one component was removed. If something else was introduced?

 

Content Standards Addressed:

Common Core State Standards 

 

Materials:

  • White drawing paper.
  • Basic reference materials on mammals, fish, reptiles, birds, amphibians and invertebrates for research and/or Internet access.
  •  
                                               ​
Procedure:
Before starting, make sure your students are comfortable with the concept of a habitat. Have each student choose an animal to create a habitat for. It is helpful to have a list of a wide variety of mammals, amphibians, birds, fish, invertebrates and reptiles available for them to choose from.
 
After selecting their animals, students will design their habitats, including sources of food, water, shelter and space. For example, a student who selected a duck may design a pond with plants.
 
Next, have the students investigate their animal using the resource materials. Does the habitat they designed meet all of the animal's survival needs? What elements are missing? What source of food will it have? Where will it find water? How will it seek shelter from predators and the weather? Where will it raise its young?
 
Instruct the students to remove one element from their habitat. Have them discuss what effect this would have on their animal. Would it be able to survive?
 
In order to help students understand the concepts of biodiversity and the interconnections in their environment, gradually have them add other animals and plants that could exist in the same habitat.
 
The student who selected the duck may choose to add frogs and fish to their habitat. For each species added, additional sources of food, water, space and shelter may be needed. Continue adding until their habitat has a number of different plants and animals.
 
Have the students remove one element from their habitat. What happens this time? Would the other members of the community be able to survive?
 
Finally, have the students introduce a plant or animal into their habitat that would not normally live there. What effect does it have? For instance, a lion introduced to the pond might eat all of the ducks, frogs and plants. How does this affect the other members of the community?