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Exploring Habitats

Ashleigh Savoy
OVERVIEW:
The purpose of this lesson plan is created to let students explore the
definition of the word habitat and all that it defines. With second grade
students, the teacher will dress in appropriate outfits defined by what
habitats will be explored that given day. Students will look at stories online,
social media, visit virtual zoo tours, and use video chats to communicate
with animal caregivers.
These few lessons are designed to engage the students thinking skills and
encourage deep exploration into the subject. Using Story Line online to listen
to a celebrity read a story including animals in their natural habitats. The
Kissing Hand is found at http://www.storylineonline.net/kissing-hand/ and
shows raccoons in their habitats. By also using live zoo cams at Toledo
(http://www.toledozoo.org/animals/webcams.html), Sandiego
(http://zoo.sandiegozoo.org/video-more), and Houston
(http://www.houstonzoo.org/meet-the-animals/animal-webcams/) zoos, the
teacher can take the students to the zoo to explore and examine the
animals habitats. These three zoos have similar and different animal
cameras to look at and explore. The students will look at the Detroit Zoon
Facebook page and also get a video-conference with the animal coordinator
of the Detroit Zoo. Students will get a chance to ask questions and continue
exploration with a professional in the habitats. During independent learning
time, online games such as what can be found on Zoo Switch
http://switchzoo.com/default.htm. Students can explore habitats, the
sounds of animals, what they eat, and more. Free exploration will continue
learning.
GOAL:
The goal of this lesson is to define the word habitat and all that the varieties
may include. By using social media the students will learn to stay connected
and see what is current. The students will be able to find websites to use at
home as well as during independent learning time, such as Storyline Online.
This website continually rotates the stories available. Teaching the students
how to find this website will lead to learning how to find other useful
websites for future need. The students will be comfortable with computer
and iPad keyboards, commands needed to refresh, go back, and forward.
Patience and confidence with technology will be gained after time spent with
the technology available. The combination of plush/toy animals, live cameras
of actual animals, and additional technology will provide for a live experience
of what an animals habitat is like.

GRADE LEVEL: 2ND GRADE Teacher and students (or a great way to review
and simply explore for a substitute lesson)
TIME: 45 minutes each day for 5 days. Ideally to be completed Monday
thru Friday to keep continuing the lesson and not be interrupted by a
weekend or holiday. The teacher is to be dressed in costume so conduct
this activity when the children are coming back from being out of the room
to give you time to dress up. The idea is to keep the students interested and
completely engaged with the lesson being taught.
RESOURCES:
Teacher outfits: (purchased from second hand stores to save money)
o Safari hat, khaki vest, binoculars, water jug for introduction day
o Fur coat, binoculars, warm winter hat and gloves cold arctic animals
o Colorful shirt and pants provided for African Animals
o Snorkel and flippers for underwater animals
o Rain Coat, binoculars, map for rainforest animals
o Safari hat, khaki vest, binoculars, water jug for wrapping it up
**Wearing the khaki at the introduction and wrap up are the only days the
teacher should wear the specific outfit. The other three outfits can be worn
in any chosen order. The outfits are just to excite the kids about the lesson
and keep them guessing what will come next
Animals to scatter around the room daily. I have provided as many
stuffed/toy animals as possible for the students to examine. Those not
available will just be laminated photos of the animals:
o Crocodile
o Alligator
o Raccoon
o Giraffe
o Elephant
o Seal
o Hippo
o Koala
o Polar Bear
o Panda
o Grizzly
o Penguin
o Flamingo
o Toucan
o Leopard
o Cheetah
o Tiger
o Ape
o Chimpanzee

Gorilla

iPads (if available in the school) per student. The iPads will be available for
watching zoo cams and individual exploration
Digital Overhead Projector to watch stories read online as a whole class. The
class will enjoy these where students are comfortable but listening. The
projector will also be used to explore initial viewing of the live zoo cameras
and the video chat with the zoo director.
MI STANDARDS AND BENCHMARKS:
I. PK-2.RI.1. interact with Internet based resources
II. PK-2.RI.2. use digital resources (e.g., dictionaries, encyclopedias,
graphs, graphical organizers) to locate and interpret information
relating to a specific curricular topic, with assistance from teachers,
school library media specialists, parents, or student partners
III.
PK-2.DC.1. describe appropriate and inappropriate uses of
technology (e.g., computers, Internet, e-mail, cell phones) and
describe consequences of inappropriate uses
IV. PK-2.DC.3. identify personal information that should not be shared on
the Internet (e.g. name, address, phone)
V. PK-2.TC.2. be able to use basic menu commands to perform common
operations (e.g., open, close, save, print)
VI.PK-2.TC.3. recognize and name the major hardware components in a
computer system (e.g., computer, monitor, keyboard,
mouse, printer)
VII.
PK-2.TC.6. understand that technology is a tool to help him/her
complete a task, and is a source of information, learning, and
entertainment
VIII.
PK-2.TC.7. demonstrate the ability to navigate in virtual
environments (e.g., electronic books, games, simulation software, web
sites)
Objectives:
I.
II.
III.
IV.
V.

Define the word habitat


Explore animals in their natural habitats
Be able to identify a specific animal by the traits of its habitat
Learn to navigate around websites on computers and iPads
Be able to construct a final project with assigned animal and
identify correct habitat surroundings

IMPLEMENTATION PLAN:
3

DAY 1: Teacher is to be dressed in the khaki outfit provided and a


handful of the provided animals are to be scattered around the
room. The animals put out each day does not matter, they are
merely conversation pieces to get the children talking and asking
questions. The outfit will excite the students about what is to be
taught. If retrieving the students from recess, lunch, or other class,
do not tell them why you are dressed up. Let them think of questions
to ask for when you want to begin the lesson.
Upon returning to the room, get the students to sit at their desks and
acquire their attention. Once their attention is captured, have them raise
their hands to ask questions. Anything that is on their minds.
Allow five minutes for their questions. Then question them (IF NOT ALREADY
ASKED)
1. Why would I be wearing these things? (response: to see
animals, safari to see animalsetc something about seeing
animals)
2. Does anyone know the word that describes where animals live?
(Give one minute of time to think. Some of them may know. Hint
at what it starts with H.
3. IF NO RESPONSE OF HABITAT give them the word. Write it on
the board and define it clearly. From Google (you can actually
search this and project it on the screen so they see how you are
looking it up): the natural home or environment of an animal, plant, or
other organism.
4. Ask the students: Would these animals in our classroom survive
here? Get their why and why not responses. Make sure they
answer what they might need and what you might find in their
real habitats.
5. Allow 10 minutes of total questioning/discussion time as this is
the first day of the lesson
6. After the 10 minutes, have the children come to the carpet to
listen to a story read from Storyline Online. Assign the task of
listening to the story but being aware of the animals habitat.
Have one child come to the computer to navigate it and choose
the given story for the day. Listen to the story along with the
students on the carpet
7. The story will last anywhere from 5-10 minutes.
8. Allow discussion for an additional 5 minutes. Ask what habitat
was defined as again to clarify the definition and continue to ask
what the children saw in the animals habitat. If the habitats
looked correct and what could be added to them to improve
them.

9. Introduce the children to ZooSwitch on the iPads. Allow them 10


minutes to explore the games independently while the teacher
walks around the room encouraging exploration
10.
After the 10 minutes, properly put away the iPads and
gather the students attention. Once gathered, announce that for
the next three days the students will be going to the zoo. Keep
the locations secret to encourage excitement in the classroom
but tell them we will be travelling the country discovering
animal habitats. It will take time for them to settle and answer
questions for the last available minutes
DAY 2: Teacher is to be dressed in one of the outfits provided
(except the khaki outfit) and a handful more of the provided animals
are to be scattered around the room. The animals put out each day
does not matter, they are merely conversation pieces to get the
children talking and asking questions. The outfit will excite the
students about what is to be taught. If retrieving the students from
recess, lunch, or other class, do not tell them why you are dressed
up. Let them think of questions to ask for when you want to begin
the lesson.
1. Have the students sit at their seats. Review the new term habitat by
calling on someone who did not respond yesterday. Ask for a brief
description of the story from one student and a discussion of the
habitat from two or three others. Do not allow discussion to exceed 10
minutes
2. After initial discussion, ask about the new animals in the room. What
are they? What do they really need in their homes? Protection? Food?
Temperatures? Weather? Enemies? Allow only five minutes for this as
we want to get going to the zoo
3. Have the students get out paper and a writing utensil from their desks.
Instruct the students to write down each animals species and what
they notice in each animals habitat. Also write down any question they
may have because at the end of the week the students will get to talk
to a real zoo keeper via video conference.
4. On the video projector (with the classroom lights turned down) go to
the Toledo Zoo website. ASK (by raising of hands) Who has been to the
Toledo Zoo? Explain that the zoo has live cameras in some of the
animals habitats so we can go to the zoo right here in our classroom!!
Several zoos have these cameras now that can be accessed via
internet on our computers, phones, and tablets. During free time,
students are allowed to visit these animal habitats to see what the
animals may to doing at that given time i.e. feeding, sleeping, running,
hiding.
5. Toledo has the fewest cameras but is the most local and relative to the
students. Show the four cameras (polar bear, hippo, seal, and
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elephant) for about 5 minutes at a time. Allow the students out of their
seats to come closer to the screen to see the animal and habitat.
Discussion questions
a. What animal do you see?
b. What is his body composed of? i.e. fur, feathers, thick skin, four
legs, wings, long neck
c. What is the climate/temperature?
d. Do you see food?
e. Toys to play with?
f. Trees or water?
g. Lazy or active?
6. Remind the students to write these observations down. There will be
a project next week where you get to choose an animal to study and
create a 3D model of its habitat. We will discuss more on it next week.
Right now I want you observing, exploring, and learning.
7. Allow 5 minutes for a wrap up about what they saw in the four habitats
and if it was what they expected or completely natural for those
animals? Could those animals live here without the zoo? Why do we
have zoos? Close with: Tomorrow we will continue our journey to a
new zoo and explore new habitats!
DAY 3: Teacher is to be dressed in one of the outfits provided
(except the khaki outfit) and a handful more of the provided animals
are to be scattered around the room. The animals put out each day
does not matter, they are merely conversation pieces to get the
children talking and asking questions. The outfit will excite the
students about what is to be taught. If retrieving the students from
recess, lunch, or other class, do not tell them why you are dressed
up. Let them think of questions to ask for when you want to begin
the lesson.
1. Have the students sit at their seats. Review the new term habitat,
briefly, by calling on someone who did not respond yesterday.
2. After initial discussion, ask about the new animals in the room. What
are they? What do they really need in their homes? Protection? Food?
Temperatures? Weather? Enemies? Allow only five minutes for this as
we want to get going to the zoo
3. Have the students get out paper and a writing utensil from their desks.
Instruct the students to write down each animals species and what
they notice in each animals habitat. Also write down any question they
may have because at the end of the week the students will get to talk
to a real zoo keeper via video conference.
4. On the video projector (with the classroom lights turned down) go to
the Houston Zoo website. ASK (by raising of hands) Who has been to
the Houston Zoo?

5. Ask What is one distinct thing that makes this zoo different from the
other zoo? Get about five responses, do not let this go on for too
long. ANSWER: time zone. Ask, Why would the time difference
make a difference? Accept answers like feeding time, nap, play
6. Click on each camera, in any order.
a. Gorilla
b. Giraffe
c. Chimp
d. Elephant
e. Rhino
f. Leafcutter ant
g. Flamingo (ask specifically, what do the birds need that makes
them pink?!)
7. Point out
a. Vegetation
b. Diet
c. Weather/climate
d. Location
e. Other wildlife
f. Etc.
DAY 4: Teacher is to be dressed in one of the outfits provided
(except the khaki outfit) and a handful more of the provided animals
are to be scattered around the room. The animals put out each day
does not matter, they are merely conversation pieces to get the
children talking and asking questions. The outfit will excite the
students about what is to be taught. If retrieving the students from
recess, lunch, or other class, do not tell them why you are dressed
up. Let them think of questions to ask for when you want to begin
the lesson.
1. Have the students sit at their seats. Review the new term habitat,
briefly, by calling on someone who did not respond yesterday.
2. After initial discussion, ask about the new animals in the room. What
are they? What do they really need in their homes? Protection? Food?
Temperatures? Weather? Enemies? Allow only five minutes for this as
we want to get going to the zoo
3. Have the students get out paper and a writing utensil from their desks.
Instruct the students to write down each animals species and what
they notice in each animals habitat. Also write down any question they
may have because at the end of the week the students will get to talk
to a real zoo keeper via video conference.
4. On the video projector (with the classroom lights turned down) go to
the san Diego Zoo website. ASK (by raising of hands) Who has been to
the San Diego Zoo?
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5. Ask What is one distinct thing that makes this zoo different from the
other zoo? This should be a quicker response today but take about
five responses, do not let this go on for too long. ANSWER: time
zone. Ask, How many hours the difference is? Why would the time
difference make a difference? Accept answers like feeding time, nap,
play
6. Click on each camera, in any order.
a. Panda
b. Polar Bear
c. Condor
d. Penguin
e. Tiger
f. Koala
g. Ape
h. Elephant
7. Point out
a. Vegetation
b. Diet
c. Weather/climate
d. Location
e. Other wildlife
f. Etc.
8. Compare and contrast the three zoos as a class. Complete a venn
diagram together. Look at the animals each zoo had, how the
elephants differed from the hippos or the penguins from the flamingos
Day 5: Rewear the khaki outfit. Make sure all of the animals are
scattered about the room. Have a couple examples of the project the
students will be working on also displayed at the front of the room
for students to observe. Have the students take their seats right
away.
1. Have the zoo manager on call and ready right before the students
arrive so there is no fidgety wait time.
2. Explain to the students whom is on the line. Be polite. The teacher
will call on them one at a time to speak so everyone can be heard.
There is only 20 minutes available for this call.
3. Have the students retrieve their notes from the week that they took
while looking at the different zoos
4. Allow for that 20 minutes child directed conversation
5. Once the chat is over briefly discuss the project-just thinking about
the project over the weekend, gathering materials, and will have
time to begin on Monday in class and continuing in class next week
a. Each student is to do some research on one animal, can be
one not looked at on our travels

b. Make a 3D diorama, of any design with any materials to


correctly represent the animals habitat
c. Include three facts about the animals habitat attached to the
project
d. Include one favorite fact learned about that animal as well
e. **Encourage different animals so the students can continue
learning about more habitats

REFERENCES:
https://www.google.com/search?
q=habitat+definition&oq=habitat+definition&aqs=chrome.0.0l6.4127j0j7&so
urceid=chrome&es_sm=91&ie=UTF-8
http://www.michigan.gov/documents/METS_K-2_129581_7.pdf
http://zoo.sandiegozoo.org/video-more
http://www.houstonzoo.org/meet-the-animals/animal-webcams/
http://www.toledozoo.org/animals/webcams.html
http://www.storylineonline.net/kissing-hand/
https://www.facebook.com/search/str/detroit+zoo/keywords_top
http://switchzoo.com/games/habitatgame.htm