Life Cycle - Organisms (2B)
Lab 

   
OBJECTIVES:
  • Defining habitats.
  • Describing local habitats.
VOCABULARY:
  • animal
  • habitat
  • organism
MATERIALS:
  • worksheet
  • pencils
  • pieces of string about 2 meters long
     

Students describe a local habitat.

BACKGROUND:

A habitat is where an organism lives. There are large habitats and small habits. Large habitats would include coral reefs, deserts, forests, islands, lakes, mangroves, oceans and coast, prairies, rangeland, rivers, and wetlands. However, there are smaller habitats including organisms within an aquarium.

Many children walk through different portions of their house and school without realizing that they are sometimes disturbing other organismsí habitat. For instance, walking on a sandy beach, upsets the sand fleas that may live within the pores of the sand. Organisms that are smaller require small spaces, and larger organisms require a larger habitat to sustain their species.

PROCEDURE:
  1. Students have their own habitat that they live in. Have the students list the organisms that can be found in their habitats. They will probably come up with people, cats, dogs, other pets, but see if they can figure out what wild animals live in their homes also (i.e., spiders, ant, mice, earwigs, cockroaches). Students will probably say that plants are in their homes, so everything in their homes seems to be an artificial habitat.
      
  2. In this lab the children will be describing a habitat they see everyday. A habitat is an environment that provides an animal with the food, water, temperature, and protection it needs; it is the place where the animal is naturally found. Examples of habitats are jungles, forests, deserts, oceans, and lakes. A habitat can be described by listing the climate, the terrain, and the plants and animals that live there.
      
  3. Divide children into small groups. Give each group a piece of string and a worksheet. Take them out into the schoolyard or a nearby field. The students should then make the string into a circle on the ground and describe the habitat within the circle. You may want one child to stand in the middle and have the other children rotate the string around the center child.
      
  4. You may want to tell students that they are to form the best circle they can. What plants are there? About how many of each are there (they do not have to count all the grass blades!) Draw pictures of what they see. What animals are there? What kinds of plants and animals do you have the most of? How do these animals get their food, water, and shelter? If this is the schoolyard, how do these animals survive getting walked on all the time? What is the climate like? Remember animals include spiders, worms, flies, mosquitoes, as well as large animals.

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