Habitats are everywhere. Teaching students about animal habitats may be as easy as taking a walk around the school, visiting the zoo or entering the science department in the school. Another way to help students learn about animal habitats is through various educational activities. For example:
Design a habitat
Discuss the needs of all creatures-humans, pets, wild animals. Give each child a piece of blank paper, a pencil and crayons. Ask them to design their own habitat. Then, ask them to use the back of the paper to design their pets habitat. Check the pictures and make sure all of the survival needs are being met.
Working in teams, ask the children to design a habitat that meets the needs of a wild animal. Have students choose an animal that is native to their own area. For example, if you live in a desert area, a javelina or a coyote would be a good choice while a mountain goat or bear would be perfect for children living in a mountain area. Create a diorama of the finished drawing.
Habitat for sale
Let students become real estate sales people. In this excellent game, designed by the National Wildlife Federation, Habitat for Sale requires the students to make up sales ads for various types of real estate based on pictures they find in magazines. The correct animal must be matched to the right habitat. Check here for game directions.
Create a habitat for Monarch butterflies in a corner of your school. Plant milkweed and flowering plants. The milkweeds give the young a place to grow; the nectar from the flowers feed the adults. The folks at Monarch Watch say that the size is not important; it can be a flower box. Once it is grown, keep an eye out for Monarch butterflies as they migrate.
Field trips are great for learning about habitats. Visit a field, a stream, a park with trees or a pond. Let your students observe what is happening. Make it easy with this worksheet, allowing students to notate and draw what they see.
Match the habitat
Provide students with pictures of various animals. Divide a large sheet of paper into squares; make enough for every two students. Once the pictures have been cut apart, ask two or three students to work together to place the correct animals in each type of habitat. Check them together. This is an excellent way to assess for understanding of habitats-have each child do the activity on her own.
The Great Habitat Match-up
Visit Scholastic’s website and visit the Magic School Bus. Students can practicing matching animals to their habitats with The Great Habitat Match-up game. Click here to check it out.
Learning about animals and their habitats is fun if you give your students the right activities to increase their fun. Learning is more than reading, so start adding activities to your habitats unit now.