Friday, September 23, 2011

Animal Habitats for Kids Study

On Tuesdays we study Science or Social Studies. Right now we are focusing on Science and I plan on introducing animal habitats to the children next week. To know what I will be doing on Tuesday a few days in advance is a first for this school year. Since school started it has been a bit "hit or miss"  because I was winging it quite a bit on this day.

When we had cable,  I used to let the children watch Sid the Science Kid as the science portion of the day. That was also when I was trying to cover every subject, every day. Thank God for some insight on that, courtesy of the Holy Spirit. We know focus on one subject a day and just make sure to incorporate writing and reading into that day's plans, along with daily math drills. 

But today I thought about Sid the Science Kid again and remembered that some of the shows are on Netflix. Today we watched the first episode in the backyard science cycle(I know it's not Tuesday) since the children finished up all of their work very early; and, I was out of ideas of what to do for the day. But watching that gave me the idea to show one episode each Wednesday and then plan the rest of the day around the topic that's covered.

The next episode we will watch is titled Home Tweet Home and is all about animals and their habitats. The description on Netflix says:
Sid wonders why there aren't any birds living in the birdhouse he made with his father. Sid and his friends later discover that many animals build and live in their own homes, including beehives, anthills and birds' nests.
The Super Fab Lab

The Super Fab Lab Investigation that goes along with this episode is The Big Bird Nest. And below are several resources that will, hopefully, help the children learn about animal homes in a fun way.

Lots of Great Info
The first site that I came across looks like a great starting point. The Utah Education Network has a page dedicated to animal habitats. The page looks very basic. But it links to almost 60 sites that go into detail about how various animals live. Some of the sites linked to are zoos, aquariums and National Geographic.

Animal Habitats Worksheets

Kids Zone has a match the animal to its habitat worksheet that I know my youngest will enjoy doing. Also, I plan on  using the "Where Do Animals Live?"  page from Boggles World as a handwriting worksheet. I might also use the Biome word search that is found there as well.

Animal Habitat Lesson Plans

Homes and Habitats is intended for children in grades 3 - 5 to use in conjunction with their trip to the Cosley Zoo in Illinois. But I think it will work just fine without the zoo trip.

PPPST is one of my favorite sites! I have used their resources a lot over the past few years. They have already done a great job of compiling lesson plans about ecosystems. So, I don't have to. :) National Geographic also has a plethora (I like using that word) of lesson plans as well.

Animal Habitat Games

Despite the grade range, I know that my children will enjoy playing the Bingo game found in the zoo handout. Or, the kids can play the Great Habitat Match-Up online. In Animal Homes, your little one has to help several animals reach their correct home. The kids can also play Animal Inn to learn about forest animals. And in Design a Habitat,  you make a home for the black footed ferret.

Animal Habitat Projects for Kids

I'm sure that there are many crafts relating to animals and their homes. But I plan on helping the children make a habitat diorama. I will let each child pick out which animal they want to focus on. Since this will be time consuming with 3 children, my plan is to do the projects on Thursday. Since, that is our arts and crafts day.

There are probably enough resources here to study habitats on more than one Tuesday. But, more than likely we will just pick a few activities that seem interesting and keep the lesson to one day. That way we can move on to the next video the following week.

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