Where is My Home?
In this classroom activity, help animals from all over the world answer an important question: Where is my home? Catered to first graders, this lesson plan will have students asking questions about what animals need to survive. Whether it’s food, water, or shelter, there are plenty of answers that will help your students better understand plants, animals, and the earth. This science lesson features a variety of worksheets and hands-on activities to reinforce how different animals fit into their habitats.
- Students will be able to identify and discuss different habitats.
- Gather the students together in a comfortable area.
- Write the word survive on the board. Ask the students to turn and talk to a partner, explaining what they think the word means. Allow a few pairs of partners to share their ideas. Clarify that the word survive means to stay alive.
- Ask the students to think of what humans need to survive and generate a list on the whiteboard with the heading Human Needs. Ideas include shelter, food, exercise, clothing, water, safety, and love.
- Ask students to stand if they have a pet.
- Ask the students to think of what their pet needs to survive. Generate a second list on the whiteboard with the heading Pet Needs. Student ideas for pet needs may include love, shelter, food, water, exercise, etc.
- Encourage a volunteer or two to circle the needs humans and pets have in common.
- Ask the students to think about animals that live outside. Explain to students that since these animals are wild, they have basic needs that must be met for them to survive. Reiterate that there is no one giving them bowls of food and water!
- Explain to the students that the four basic needs for living things are food, water, shelter, and a place to raise young.
- Write habitat on the whiteboard and ask students if they have ever heard the word before.
- Allow students sufficient time to offer their ideas. Explain to the students that a habitat is the place where a living thing (or community of living things) lives. This is their home.
- Explain to the students that today they will be trying to help animals get to the right habitat so they can survive!
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(10 minutes)
- Ask the students to form a circle. In the middle of the circle, spread out the habitat pictures.
- Have the students think about names for each of the habitats, encouraging them to pretend they are scientists! They must observe the habitat pictures closely. Record their answers on notecards and ask a few students to place them next to the picture of the connecting habitat.
- Hold up a picture of an animal. Place the animal in a habitat that is not the animal’s habitat. Ask the students if the animal would be able to survive in the habitat. Have student do a brief think-pair-share to explain their answer. Allow a few students to share their answers aloud. Record their ideas on the whiteboard.
- Explain to the students that a good habitat for the animal will help the animal meet its basic needs. Ask students, "Who remembers what the four basic needs are?" Next, model placing an animal in the correct habitat. Share why you chose to place the animal there, using the four basic needs to explain your answer.
Guided Practice(10 minutes)
- Write the following sentence frame on the board:
- I chose to put the ___(animal) in __(habitat) because __.
- Encourage students to help you place the remaining animals in the correct habitat, using the sentence frame to share their answers aloud.
Independent working time(20 minutes)
- Ask students to go back to their seats.
- Pass out the Animal Habitats Match-Up worksheet, pencils, and coloring utensils.
- Explain to the students that they need to draw a line from the habitat to the animal that lives there. Model an example.
- Have the students color the animals and habitats when they are finished.
Enrichment: Students who need a challenge can complete the Animal Habitats Coloring worksheet. Encourage them to use detailed pictures with labels.
Support: Students who need extra reinforcement of the concept can match the animal pictures to the habitats (that you used during teacher modeling/guided instruction). When they are finished, they should be able to finish the Animal Habitats Match-Up worksheet.
- During teacher modeling and guided practice, pay attention to students who are able to explain the reason for putting an animal on a specific habitat. Make note of students who struggle.
- Rotate around the classroom during independent work time to help struggling students and ask prompting questions such as: "What other animals do you think live in the rain forest?"
- Collect student work as a formative assessment to plan future lessons on animal habitats.
Review and closing(5 minutes)
- Ask students to put away their materials, and gather the students together as a group.
- Ask the students to think about the habitats that exist in their community. Call on a few students to share.
- Ask the students to think about the habitats that do not exist in their community. A potential question would be: "Why do you think we don't have rainforests by our homes or the school? What is the weather like here? Point to pictures of habitats you've been to before. Where were you when you saw that habitat?" Guide students to think of climate and weather conditions, too.
- Encourage students to think about keeping a habitat journal at their homes. Tell them they can record the habitats that they see and observe the animals that live there. Invite them to bring their journals to school to share with their peers!