Lesson plan

Animal Habitats

Students will love thinking about lots of interesting animal homes and the different types of animals who live in each one!
Grade Subject View aligned standards

Students will be able to identify and describe the different habitats that animals live in.

(5 minutes)
  • Introduce the lesson by asking students to think about what kinds of things animals might need to survive.
  • Write “What Animals Need” on the board. Encourage students to think about similarities between people and animals. Prompt students as needed by asking: Where do animals (e.g. dog/cat) like to rest? What do animals eat? Do animals need anything to stay safe from predators?
  • Instruct students to Think-Pair-Share. Have students sit knee to knee with a partner. Allow a minute of silent think time to consider each prompt. At your signal, students should take turns sharing a response to each prompt.
  • Call the class back together, and invite a few volunteers to share their thinking with the whole group. Record student ideas under the heading "What Animals Need."
  • Explain that animals all live in something called a habitat, which is what we call the most ideal or natural home of that animal.
(10 minutes)
  • Read aloud the book book Habitats by William B. Rice. Pause as you read to consider unknown words found in the text. Ask students, "What do you think this word means? Why do you think that?" Discuss strategies for figuring out the meaning of unknown words (e.g. use the photographs or context clues from the sentence).
  • Tell students to give you a thumbs up if the book gives new information about what animals need. Add information to “What Animals Need” list.
(10 minutes)
  • Ask students to think about some of the different kinds of habitats in the world by naming some of the most common (desert, forest, ocean, jungle).
  • Write Desert, Forest, Ocean, and Jungle on the board and ask students to think about each habitat and what animals and plants they might see in that habitat.
  • Create small groups of no more than four students. Assign each group a habitat. Review the rules for small group discussions by creating a poster titled "Group Work."
    1. Take turns
    2. Work together
    3. Listen to others
    4. Talk about the topic
  • Ask students to give you a thumbs up if they can agree to follow the rules to work with their group. Ask if anyone has any other rules to suggest.
  • Capture student thinking about the topic of habitats by passing out sticky notes or index cards and assigning each group a habitat. Groups will work together to draw pictures of plants or animals that would live in each habitat. Then, have them place their cards under the correct heading.
  • Review the plants and animals that students drew. Instruct students to give a thumbs up if they agree that each plant or animal could survive in a given habitat.
  • Encourage students to build on one another's thinking. Provide a sentence frame such as, "I agree that a ____ could survive in the ____ because _____."
(20 minutes)
  • Explain that students will now get to choose an animal who lives in one of the habitats we discussed (and are listed on the board) and get to draw a picture of their animal in its habitat.
  • Pass out a copy of the My Animal Habitat worksheet to each student.


For students who need additional support, help them choose an animal and identify the habitat for their animal before passing out the My Animal Habitat worksheet.


For advanced students or those who finish early, pass out copies of the Animal Habitat Match-Up and Animal Habitats Coloring worksheets for them to complete.

(5 minutes)
  • To assess student understanding, collect student worksheets. Check whether students were able to choose an animal and the animal’s matching habitat.
(5 minutes)
  • Allow students to share their pictures with their small group.
  • Gather students together for a whole class conversation. Allow volunteers to share the animal they chose and their animal’s habitat with the larger group.

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