Introduction to Habitats - Center for Learning in Action

Lesson #7: Introduction to Habitats
Time Frame: 45 minutes
Learning Standards:
Life Science: Characteristics of Living Things
1) Recognize changes in appearance that animals and plants go through as
the seasons change.
2) Identify the ways in which an organism’s habitat provides for its basic
needs (plants require air, water, nutrients, and light; animals require food,
water, air, and shelter).
Skills of Inquiry
1) Ask questions about objects, organisms, and events in the environment.
2) Record observations and data with pictures, numbers, or written
3) Discuss observations with others.
Student will be able to:
1) Explain how the habitat of a plant or animal provides what it needs to live.
2) Draw a picture and compare and contract a human habitat and an animal
Focus Activity: Ask the students to think about what plants or animals that live
by the river need to survive. What does a tree need to survive? (Write
responses on the board including water, light, air, nutrients.) What does a turtle
need to survive? (Write responses on the board including food, water, air, and
Introduction: Explain that many different types of plants and animals (that need
different things to survive) can live in the river habitat because it is varied. Plants
and animals can live in the river, on the edge of the river, on the banks of the
river, in the trees of the river, underground near the river, etc.
1) Write the word habitat on the board. Define habitat: the place or
environment where a plant or animal naturally or normally lives and grows.
Refer to the focus activity and explain that a habitat must provide a living
thing with everything that it needs to survive.
2) As a class, make observations of an animal in the classroom (trout). Note:
If trout are not available then arrange to observe another animal in the
classroom (it could be something as simple as a cricket). Discuss how the
tank mimics the natural trout habitat. Where do trout normally live? What
do they need to survive? How are we keeping the trout alive in the tank?
(food, cooled water, oxygenation, etc.) Remind the students that trout
naturally live in the river and that they will be released into the river later in
the year. Ongoing activity: Ask students to make a dated entry with a
drawing of the trout and any important observations that they made.
Complete these observations at least once a week until the trout are
released into the river. Discuss the life cycle of the trout during this
3) Ask the students to draw a picture of a human (person) in their natural
habitat. This habitat (house) should show how they get food, water, air,
and shelter. Then, ask students to draw another picture of an animal
habitat such as a squirrel, chipmunk, or bird (something that they are
familiar with) also showing how this animal gets food, water, air, and
shelter. Ask students to share their drawings with the class and continue
the discussion of habitats.
Closure: What happens to animal and plant habitats at the river as the seasons
change? What happens to the trees and plants? Why? What happens to the
animals? (some migrate or hibernate) Why? How do plants and animals deal
with habitats that change? What might happen if the river stopped flowing?
Assessment: Drawings of human and animal habitats, participation in class
activities and discussions
Resources and Materials: Trout in the classroom, paper, markers, crayons,
colored pencils
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