Habitat in a Bucket

Contributor
Monterey Bay Aquarium Foundation
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Activity , Lesson/Lesson Plan
Note
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.

Reviews

Description

Students discover firsthand what a habitat is by exploring a “habitat in a bucket” that includes outdoor habitat items (e.g., leaves, branches, snails, etc.) that have been collected and brought into the classroom. Students use the exploration as an inquiry starting point. They make observations to identify the living and nonliving parts of a habitat.Then students generate their own questions in order to design and conduct their own investigations. 

Intended Audience

Educator
Educational Level
  • Elementary School
  • Grade 2
Language
English
Access Restrictions

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

Performance Expectations

2-LS4-1 Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.

Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on the diversity of living things in each of a variety of different habitats.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include specific animal and plant names in specific habitats.

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this performance expectation.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
Students will have the opportunity to explore different habitats within the lesson.

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
Students observe and generate investigative questions about the different habitats in buckets. This allows the student to design and conduct their own habitat investigations.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

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

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
Students will need to compare a land and water habitats in order to include the disciplinary core idea.

Crosscutting Concepts

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: Students use exploration of different habitats to observe the diversity of plants and animals within the “habitat in a bucket”. Through observation, students generate questions of interest and design and conduct their own investigation. To fully include the disciplinary core idea, observations of plants and within land and water habits should be compared.

  • Instructional Supports: Students use exploration of different habitats to learn about the diversity of plants and animals within the “habitat in a bucket”. Through observation, students generate questions of interest and design and conduct their own habitat/living thing investigation. Key vocabulary is defined and suggestions are made for how to develop the new vocabulary, especially for English Language Learners. Students are given a T chart to organize their ideas. Teacher support throughout the lesson guides instruction through the inquiry process, investigation and safety protocol of live animals, the process and determination of quality student investigation questions, and how to return the living things to their natural habitat. Students have the opportunity throughout the lesson to communicate their thoughts on paper and then again orally at the end of the lesson. Providing the key vocabulary before the lesson in a game format like Concentration or Jeopardy helps to develop the academic vocabulary

  • Monitoring Student Progress: Although no assessment pieces are provided, the teacher can take anecdotal notes during the student investigations.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: The Monterey Bay Aquarium website offers web cam videos of habitats for further student observations of habitats.