Science, Biology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab, Assessment, Lesson Plan
Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary
  • Animals
  • Habitats
  • Keynote
  • Lesson Plan
  • Pages
  • animals
  • habitats
  • iMovie
  • iPad
  • imovie
  • ipad
  • keynote
  • pages
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Media Formats:

    Education Standards

    Animal Habitats through iPad Lesson Plan

    Animal Habitats through iPad Lesson Plan


    This lesson takes students through 3 iPad apps to explore and explain animal habitats. Students will use the drawing tool in Pages to complete two pictures of animal habitats, use Keynote to follow links to San Diego zoo cameras and record their own audio describing the exhibits, and finally use iMovie to record themselves in their favorite animal habitat!

    *The thumbnail image was taken by Lindsay Stahl at the Living Planet Aquarium


    This is a student-led exploration of animal habitats involving partner collaboration, student-choice, and technology use.

    • Time frame- 40-50 minutes for all three student activities (iMovie Habitat Video activty can be done the next day if needed)
    • This lesson can be done in the classroom with iPads or virtually with an iPad


    Background for Teachers


    • To teach this lesson, you will need an understanding of animal habitats.
    • The following resource can help you teach this topic
    • Each student needs access to an iPad or at least one iPad per two students.
    • Students will use Pages, Keynote, and iMovie apps during the lesson's activities.


    Step 1 - Goals and Outcomes

    Step 1 Goals and Outcomes

    Learning Intentions:

    • Students will be able to identify the differences among animal habitats such as desert, grassland, and rainforest. *(Standard 2.2.1)
    • Students will be able to explain why a certain habitat would be the best place for certain animals. *(Standard 2.2.1)

    Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about patterns of living things (plants and animals, including humans) in different habitats. Emphasize the diversity of living things in land and water habitats. Examples of patterns in habitats could include descriptions of temperature or precipitation and the types of plants and animals found in land habitats. (LS2.C, LS4.C, LS4.D)

    Success Criteria:

    • Students will "convince" an animal to move to the habitat they are advertising in their green screen video.


    Step 2 - Planning Instruction

    Step 2 Planning Instruction

    Student Background Knowledge

    • Science- Prior to this lesson, students will need to have an understanding that there are different animal habitats and that animals need certain things to help them survive. (I have generally prepped them through non-fiction read-alouds about habitats)
    • Technology- Prior to this lesson, students will need to have a working knowledge of Pages, Keynote, iMovie, and Safari web browser.

    Strategies for Diverse Learners

    For much of this lesson, students are working in pairs and can share different responsibilites. This lesson includes different learning styles to appeal to diverse learners- artistic drawing, visual learning while watching zoo cams, speaking and recording audio, and creating a video presentation.

    Step 3 - Instruction

    Step 3 Instruction

    ABK- As students enter the classroom or return to their desks after a transition, have them open "Doodle Journal" in the Pages app on their iPad. This is the Activating Background Knowledge and Formative Assessment portion of the lesson. Students must add a drawing to the image of a giraffe and then to the image of a polar bear. They are asked to draw the habitats of those two animals. Allow about 5 minutes for this activity. As students work on this, the teacher can walk around and observe. If needed, the teacher can review past books or resources about habitats.

    Zoo Cam Partner Activity- Explain to students that zoos try to copy an animal's habitat to make them feel more at home. In the next activity, students will get to watch videos of animals at the San Diego Zoo. Divide students into partners sharing one iPad. Have them open "Zoo Cam Activity" in Keynote (example linked below- please remember to delete the current audio on each slide before your students use this resource). Students can follow the links on each animal name to view the Zoo Cams for about 2 minutes and then take 1 minute or less to record themselves describing what they saw in the exhibit that might be in the animal's natural habitat too. (This activity takes about 15 minutes total.)

    Whole Group Review- Choose 5 partnerships to share their audio recordings so that the class can listen to a recording about each of the 5 animals. Allow students to choose their favorite animal habitat and then divide the class into new partnerships. Review the Habitat Video Rubric to let students know how they will be Summatively Assessed. 

    Summative Assessment Habitat Video- Allow partnerships 30 minutes to create their Habitat Video on iMovie. Following the rubric, they must record themselves 'advertising' their favorite animal habitat. Then using iMovie's green screen effect, they will layer a photo of that habitat behind their video (see Rainforest Example). When completed, allow all partnerships to present their videos to the class and then fill out the Habitat Video Rubric to self assess while you as the instructor also fill out the rubric.

    *I've tried attaching files in multiple formats to open with Apple or PC products if needed.

    Step 4 - Assessments

    Step 4 Assessments

    Formative Assessment- Doodle Journal at the beginning of lesson. Students will open Pages on their iPad, open today's Doodle Journal (linked below), and draw the missing habitats for the animals pictured. As students work, instructor walks around the room observing the drawings to assess student's current level of understanding.

    When Zoo Cam audio recordings are shared, the instructor will also assess student understanding before moving on to the Habitat Video projects. 

    Summative Assessment-  I use a rubric to grade their Habitat Videos. Students self-assess using the same rubric. (rubric linked below)