We have been studying animal habitats for the past 3 weeks and having a blast. There is something about children and animals. They love talking about them. A few items in our Science and Social Studies curriculum make me tilt my head in wonder, but studying animals in first grade is not one of them. This standard is a natural.
We started out by comparing and contrasting forest habitats and grassland habitats. There is a great site called Africam that lets students view animals live! They love it. I used it one year and had to leave it on all day for them. Something might happen...you never know. You can get to it by clicking on the picture below.
After that we had some fun creating forest habitats using the resources from Mrs. Wheat's Forest and Habitat unit. You can click the picture to go check it out.
I loved the results so much, that I just had to first thank my teaching partner for the great find, and then used her desert habitat unit when we studied the arctic and desert habitats. Click on the picture to check this one out.
I was so impressed with their writing and the facts they remembered! Now we are studying ocean habitats. We started by reading A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle. This book is a classic and a must! Using the activity suggestions from Erin Sample's Ocean Habitat-An Arts Integrated Science and Literacy Unit, we discussed the story and created our own little hermit crabs. You can go to Erin's unit by clicking on the picture below.
I thought the hermit crabs turned out great! I literally raided my big black cabinet and pulled out whatever looked like ocean material. Floral grass became seaweed, pink pom-poms became sea urchins, macaroni shells became snails, and glitter became lantern fish. The glitter was a big hit! Then we went over the adaptations for hermit crabs and they told me all about the shell, the pinchers and the protruding eyes (their favorite part).
Now we are ready to study whales using the story Amazing Whales! a common core text exemplar. If you click below you can go to Watch Know Learn to have the story read to the students. I love this site. Many of the text exemplars are available here.
We are going to wrap up our study of habitats with a visit to the aquarium. The students are super excited about this trip because it is our very first field trip of the year. We can't take very many anymore because of budget cut backs, so we appreciate every trip we get.