Material Type:
Activity/Lab, Assessment, Game, Lesson, Reading
Preschool, Lower Elementary
  • Lesson Plan
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Media Formats:

    Education Standards

    Animal Habitats 1

    Animal Habitats 1


    This is a lesson plan for activities intended to teach students what a habitat is, some of the types of habitats found around the world, and different animals that live in them.  It includes a discussion about the word, photos depicting various habitats, a game of guessing where a particular anmimal would live, a decodable/rebus page about habitats, and a drawing page/class book showing an animal in its habitat.  


    cover photo:

    "White Tigers, Singapore Zoo {Explore}" by Eustaquio Santimano is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.


    This lesson is intended to introduce what a habitat is and to identify common habitats around the world and the types of animals living in them.  Habitats included in this lesson: polar, mountain, desert, forest, freshwater, rainforest, ocean, & grassland.

    • Time frame:  30 min
    • Format:  This is intended to be a face-to-face lesson, but it could be adapted easily to meet other needs.
    • Author:  Holly Parker


    Background for Teachers

    You will need a basic understanding of what a habitat is and what habitats can be found on earth.

    • Key Vocabulary:  Habitat.  Habitat (Gale)and Habitat (World Book Kids)
    • To teach this lesson, you will need an understanding of the different habitats around the world.  Here is a video that will not be used with students in this lesson, however, it identifies will provide good background information.  Habitats


    Step 1 - Goals and Outcomes

    Learning Intentions:

    I can explain what a habitat is and give some examples of habitats around the world.

    • Students will be able to define the word "habitat".
    • They will be able to identify some of the major habitats around the world.

    Success Criteria:

    • Students will verbally define "habitat" to the teacher or other adult.
    • Students will draw a picture of an animal in its habitat.


    Step 2 - Planning Instruction


    Student Background Knowledge

    • Prior to this lesson, students will need to have an understanding of what an animal is, common types of plants around the world (trees, grass, vines, etc.), and types of climates (ie. some are hot and dry - deserts, some are cold & snowy- polar ice caps).

    Strategies for Diverse Learners

    ELL Students:  preview vocabulary with these students before lesson, use lots of pictures and videos to visually represent a habitat

    IEP and 504 Students:  provide accomodations such as special seating, printed copies of the photos, or an assigned aide to assist these students

    Accelerated Students:  Ask them to add details in their descriptions of a habitat and to label their drawings more thoroughly

    Step 3 - Instruction

    Core standard:  

    Living things (plants and animals, including humans) depend on their surroundings to get what they need, including food, water, shelter, and a favorable temperature. The characteristics of surroundings influence where living things are naturally found. Plants and animals affect and respond to their surroundings. 

    Standard K.2.1 
    Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to describe patterns of what living things (plants and animals, including humans) need to survive. Emphasize the similarities and differences between the survival needs of all living things. Examples could include that plants depend on air, water, minerals, and light to survive, or animals depend on plants or other animals to survive. (LS1.C)


    Computer with internet access, Globe, Habitat photos (1 of each photo per table and one for the whiteboard), Habitats decodable page (1 copy per student), Drawing Habitats (1 copy per student), Habitats Assessment Sheet, voting chips (1 per student), drawing supplies, teacher answer sheet for which habitat the animals on National Geographic site belong in



    1.  Introduce the definition of habitat.

    Teach the students that when we don't know what a word means we can look in a good source like Gale in Context  to find out.  Search for "habitat" and discuss the meaning of the word. Gale in Context habitat definition

    2.  Discuss different types of habitats around the world

    Display one of the habitat photos and discuss the name of it and its features.  Show students where on the globe a habitat like that would be found.  Magnet photo to white board.

    Repeat this process with each photo.

    Ask students to discuss and identify differences between the habitats.

    3.  Sort animals by type of habitat

    Pass out 1 copy of each habitat photo to each table.  

    Pass out voting chips/counters- 1 per student.  

    Pull up National Geographic Kids animal photos. animal photos  Display one of the animal photos and ask a student to predict which habitat it lives in and then place their voting chip on the habitat photo of their selection.  Reveal the correct answer and then discuss why that animal lives in that particular habitat.  Use the "Animal Habitats Teacher Answer Sheet" as a guide or google each animal photo's habitat as you go.

    Repeat the process with multiple animal photos.

    4.  Write and read about habitats

    Pass out a copy of the "Habitats Decodable" page to each student.

    Finger stretch the sounds in the word "habitat".  Say the whole word.  Read it 3 times.  Write it.

    Look at each mini rebus picture to identify what it is showing. 

    Read the decodable together using the pictures for clues as needed.

    Have the students whisper read the passage to themselves as you circulate to listen to individual students.

    5.  Draw pictures of animals in their habitats.

    Gather students to discuss animals and their habitats.  Model selecting a particular animal and the habitat it would live in.  Draw a sketch of that animal in its habitat.  Discuss making sure to think about:

    • What animal did you pick?  Write it.
    • What habitat would they live in?  Write it.
    • What would the ground look like in that habitat?  Draw it.
    • Is there water?  Draw it.
    • What would the sky look like in that habitat?  Draw it.
    • What plants would there be in that habitat?  Draw it.
    • Are there any other details to include?  Draw it.

    Give students drawing supplies and the page "Drawing Habitats".

    Allow them time to draw their animals in their habitats. 

    6.  Assessment

    While they are drawing, pull students aside to tell you the definition of "habitat" and record applicable notes on the student assessment sheet.

    Collect their drawings and analyze their work using the student assessment sheet.

    Assemble drawings into a class book.





    Step 4 - Assessments



    While discussing haitats, pay attention to student questions and their answers to your questions.

    Have students whisper read decodable while you listen to individuals read.


    Habitat Assessment