Grade 2: Habitats

Lessons at a Glance


Lesson 1: What's My Habitat

Big Idea: All organisms have basic survival needs: air, food, water, protection, and space. A habitat is the place where an organism gets everything it needs to survive.

Children discuss items they prepare for an imaginary trip, and learn the difference between wants and needs. They evaluate their habitat by sharing how their own basic survival needs are met.

 

Lesson 2: Who Needs an Oak Tree?

Big Idea: Many organisms share an environment and interact because their habitats overlap.

Children discuss a story about an oak tree and all of the organisms that use the tree in different ways. They place drawings of the organisms on a class mural of an oak tree.

 

Lesson 3: How a Bird Feeds

Big Idea: Organisms have characteristics that make it possible for them to survive in their habitat.

Children use different tools ("bird bills") to retrieve different types of "bird food." Children experience how different types of bird bills help birds survive in their particular habitats.

 

Lesson 4: Bird Features

Big Idea: Organisms have characteristics that make it possible for them to survive in their habitat.

Children play a game to figure out which physical characteristics are most likely to belong to birds that live in certain habitats and eat certain foods. In the process, they build their classification skills.

 

Lesson 5: Owl Food

Big Idea: Many organisms share an environment and interact because their habitats overlap.

Children identify the organisms an owl ate by looking at the skeletal remains in an owl pellet. They try to identify the owl's habitat from what they know about the organisms in its diet.

 

Lesson 6: Habitat Walk, Habitat Talk: Birds

Big Idea: Organisms have characteristics that make it possible for them to survive in their habitat.

The children observe birds in their local habitat, if possible. They focus on the physical characteristics and behavior of the birds.

 

Lesson 7: Who Needs a Saguaro?

Big Idea: Many organisms share an environment and interact because their habitats overlap.

Children listen to a book about a saguaro cactus. They discuss how the saguaro resembles an oak tree in the ways that animals use it as part of their habitat and how it differs in other ways.

 

Lesson 8: How a Cactus Survives

Big Idea: Organisms have characteristics that make it possible for them to survive in their habitat.

Children observe characteristics of a living cactus plant. They compare and contrast the cactus' appearance and functions with other plants, focusing on how different plants retain water.

 

Lesson 9: Habitat Walk, Habitat Talk: Plants

Big Idea: Many organisms share an environment and interact because their habitats overlap.

Children observe local plants, focusing on the plants' physical characteristics, and learning how local animals depend on the plants.

 

Lesson 10: What is a Biome?

Big Idea: A biome is a large geographic area that contains many habitats.

Children discuss the difference between a biome (a large geographical area) and a habitat (the place where a particular organism meets its survival needs).

 

Lesson 11: Researching a Biome

Big Idea: A biome is a large geographic area that contains many habitats.

Children use print and electronic resources to research the characteristics of one of Earth's major biomes. In subsequent lessons they design organisms that could survive in that biome.

 

Lesson 12: Designing Organisms

Big Idea: You can use what you know about a habitat and a biome to design imaginary organisms that might be able to survive there.

Children collaborate in pairs to design an imaginary animal and plant that share a habitat within the biome they researched.

 

Lesson 13: Developing an Assessment Rubric

Big Idea: It's useful to have criteria when designing a project.

Children practice using a rubric to evaluate a sample assignment. They collaborate to develop a class assessment rubric that defines what they should include in their animal and plant designs.

 

Lesson 14: Refining and Modeling Organism Designs

Big Idea: You can use what you know about a habitat and a biome to design imaginary organisms that might be able to survive there.

Groups review one another's organism designs and suggest improvements. Students refine their designs and draw a pictorial model of their imaginary animal and plant organisms.

 

Lesson 15: Presenting Organism Designs

Big Idea: You can use what you know about a habitat and a biome to design imaginary organisms that might be able to survive there.

Children present their imaginary animal and plant to the class. They share background information about the biome the organisms inhabit, present their models, and explain all the survival characteristics their organisms have that make them well-suited to live in their habitat.

 

Lesson 16: The Human Habitat

Big Idea: All organisms have basic survival needs: air, food, water, protection, and space. A habitat is the place where an organism gets everything it needs to survive. Many organisms share an environment and interact because their habitats overlap.

Children re-examine their personal habitat and determine how far it extends. They recognize that the human habitat can be global. They also discuss the good and bad habitat changes humans sometimes cause while satisfying their wants and needs.

 

Skill Building Activity: Using Models in Science

Big Idea: Scientists use models to represent things that are too big, small, fast, slow, far away, or dangerous to observe in the real world.

Children study various types of models and learn how they are used in science. They also make models of their own.

 

Skill Building Activity: Using Field Guides

Big Idea: You can use a field guide to learn about and identify things in the natural world.

Children learn how to use a field guide to identify and learn about a specimen. This lesson can be done with any type of field guide or specimen.