What's Your Habitat?

National Wildlife Federation
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Activity , Lesson/Lesson Plan
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be "fully aligned," the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.



Students explore basic survival needs of humans and wildlife and draw their own homes (habitats) and neighborhood. Background information is given for the teacher to preview before the lesson is taught.

Intended Audience

Educator and learner
Educational Level
  • Upper Elementary
  • Early Elementary
Access Restrictions

Free access - The right to view and/or download material without financial, registration, or excessive advertising barriers.

Performance Expectations

K-LS1-1 Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive.

Clarification Statement: Examples of patterns could include that animals need to take in food but plants do not; the different kinds of food needed by different types of animals; the requirement of plants to have light; and, that all living things need water.

Assessment Boundary: none

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this performance expectation, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
Kindergarten students may need more knowledge about basic survival needs before this lesson. Reading a text or two about survival needs would be helpful support for this resource. Be sure to have students look for and identify patterns of basic needs among humans and animals. They can refer to prior knowledge/information gained from different types of media.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this science and engineering practice.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
After students have drawn a picture of their home (habitat), have them write about their picture. Kindergarten students may need to dictate this to someone older who will write the information down. Use the questions provided in the lesson plan to help students share and explain their drawings.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
After the discussion about the different ways to obtain food-shopping at the store, growing it in a garden, hunting, etc., have students choose a way and describe orally or by illustrating/write how they help prepare food at home.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this crosscutting concept, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
In order to meet the expectation of this Crosscutting Concept, students could keep a daily or weekly journal as described in the assessment section of the lesson. This will enable them to observe and describe patterns in the natural and human designed world that help humans survive.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: The focus of the lesson is to support students in making sense of phenomena. This is done by providing opportunities to develop and use specific elements of the Practice and Core Idea. Students make observations to identify and describe patterns of the needs of humans and animals. They also have the opportunity to communicate what they have learned through drawing and writing.

  • Instructional Supports: Students experience phenomena through firsthand representations. The lesson also Includes suggestions for how to connect instruction to the students' home, neighborhood, community, and culture as appropriate to the classroom. There are no ideas given for differentiated instruction. Teachers are provided with appropriate and sufficient background knowledge and strategies to support student learning.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: Assessment using oral questioning with charting of student responses and student journals are described in the lesson.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: There is no technology required for this lesson. To add a technology component, students could take a walk outside and photograph animals in their habitat which could be used to provide more evidence of the phenomenon.