113 Exploring Micro-Habitats: Life Under Logs

Hidden Villa's Science and Nature Video Series
Type Category
Instructional Materials
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.


Average Rating

3 (1 reviews)

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Most Recent Review

5 very usable

clear simple lang. well explained, good visuals


The short 8 minute video highlights animals that all live in the habitat under a log. An elementary teacher walks student viewers through the steps of moving a log, identifying the invertebrates, and other animals and plants that live there, with added excitement and information.


Intended Audience

Educator and learner
Educational Level
  • Elementary School
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
This resource is designed to address the standard. It would need to be accompanied by the students doing the work of collecting the data and discussing the data alongside the video (so participation would not be passive).

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
The students are making observations from media. The teacher would need to support students in discussing and describing the same observations that are made by the person in the video.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
Patterns in the natural and human designed world can be observed.

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
The PE does not include a Crosscutting Concept because it is aligned to the NOS. Notwithstanding, Patterns works as a Crosscutting Concept because the large number of logs turned over reveal animals that are both similar and different and both plants and animals, which is remarked on by the presenter.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: The video is aligned to the PE as it addresses all of the dimensions of the Performance Expectation. It is motivated by a meaningful phenomenon, and  allows for students to participate in an endeavor similar to a real scientist. Tips: Use this video after the class has made predictions of what they might see under a log. Have the students look under logs and see what animals live there, and if they can identify them. The video would be a wonderful companion to an identical hands -on exploratory investigation already completed by students.

  • Instructional Supports: The video, accompanied by the suggested tips, engages students in an authentic and meaningful event that reflects the practice of science as experienced in the real world. In addition, the video would accompany an investigation in the area around the school, which would cause the event to carry even more meaning for students. The video could have included more close-ups of animals and support for vocabulary meaning (i.e., explain some of the terms using diagrams), and this could have increased the rating. This is an excellent engagement piece and an experience with phenomena that is accessible to all types of learners because of the visual presentation and real life applications.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: If used as suggested in the tips as part of the larger lesson, the teacher would be able to monitor student progress as he/she asks the students about patterns they notice between the two habitats. If he/she needed to know individual progress, they would need to ask students to write and/or draw what they notice between the two habitats, or ask students to freewrite in their science notebooks about the question: “Do all habitats have the same number of types (species) of animals? What is your evidence?”

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: The quality, in terms of video quality, is very good, but there are a few shots that were hard to see, or needed to be enhanced. The video, although very a very nice resource, does not provide the interaction in the classroom, so the rating reflects the need for the teacher to add instructional support to meet the Performance Expectation.