Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Animal Homes Near and Far

Renee Benefield


Students work in cooperative groups to list animal habitats. They conclude the lesson by selecting one of the habitats and writing about some of its characteristics and listing a few animals that live in that environment.


The student knows some characteristics of different environments and some plants and animals found there.


-Large chart paper or chalkboard (The chart paper is easy to relocate to a bulletin board or science center.)
-Pencils, crayons, markers for student use
-Paper for each cooperative group to list their habitats
-Paper for each student to write about one environment of their choice
-Copy of Animal Homes Near and Far worksheet for each student (See Associated File)


1. Put up chart paper.
2. Gather paper for group project.
3. Provide pencils, crayons and markers for student use.
4. Make copies of the Animal Homes Near and Far student worksheet. (See Associated File)


NOTE: This lesson does not address the plants in a habitat.

1. Introduce the lesson with a lead-in question to provoke a student brainstorming session of habitats from around the world. Ask the students if they were an animal, where would they live and why.

2. Explain that there are many different places all over the world that are homes to animals. Many animals have special characteristics to help them survive in their home environment.

3. Introduce the term habitat. Habitat is an animal home. An example of the previous concept would be a polar bear lives where it is very cold, like the North Pole, and it has a thick, furry coat. Ask the students if they think a polar bear could survive at the beach. Talk about their responses.

4. Tell the students that today they will work together to list as many places animals can live as they can. Explain that they will be working in a group. Go over group rules: One person needs to be the recorder and write down all of the items for the group. All of the other members take turns giving items one at a time. They are not to shout out answers; suggest that they go around the circle to keep things orderly. Allow 20 minutes for the students to work in their small groups.

5. Call the class together again and ask them to bring their lists of habitats.

6. Record the habitats on the chart paper, having each group call out things they listed. Explain that it is ok for groups to have many of the same habitats.

7. Review the list and ask questions to evoke some of the habitats that may not have been listed.

8. Discuss some of the different animals, large and small, that live in some of the habitats listed.

9. Have the students discuss some of the characteristics that make habitats different from each other. For example, a desert is hot and dry. A cave is dark and damp.

10. Go over independent directions with the students. Tell them they will pick one habitat from the list and write down 3 characteristics of that habitat. They will also write down some of the animals that would live in that habitat. Pass out the copy of the Animal Homes Near and Far student worksheet (See Associated File) on which they will record their answers.

11. Collect papers at the end of independent work time.


NOTE: This lesson does not assess the plants in a habitat.
At the conclusion of the lesson, the students complete the Animal Homes Near and Far student worksheet as an assessment to show their understanding of the characteristics for a selected habitat and animals that inhabit that particular habitat. Students should receive formative feedback as they are working and should be allowed to correct and add to their papers.


Assign students to draw a mural of a habitat that includes some of the animals that live there. This lesson may be taught over 2 days.

Attached Files

This file contains the Animal Homes Near and Far student worksheet.     File Extension: pdf

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