Habitat Breakdown

Purpose: At the end of this activity the student will have a new understanding of how insects/organisms are impacted by factors that are essential to an organism's survival in a particular habitat. The students will understand how lacking just one element of a habitat (food, water, shelter, and space) can affect an organism's chance for survival. This activity will take 20-30 minutes to complete.

TEKS: Fourth Grade Science

(5) Complex Systems and Parts

a. identify and describe roles of organisms in living systems and parts in nonliving objects.

  1. predict and draw conclusions when part of a system is removed


Motivate! : The teacher will begin the class by asking students what would happen to them if they did not have enough water to drink? What would happen if they did not have a space in which to live? Would these factors make life easy or hard? What would you have to do to survive in these conditions? The students will then learn that a habitat consists of factors such as food, water, space, and shelter.


Safety Tips:

Concept Discovery: After the class has played several rounds of the game, the class will come together for discussion. What have the students learned? Did any of the children not meet the needs for survival? If the students were real insects and they did not meet their needs, what would happen? How is habitat important? What is happening to insects that are living in a forest that is being torn down? Do they die from loss of habitat, or do they survive and adapt to their changing environment?

Going Further: The students can analyze their own habitat based on what they have learned in the activity. Students can go home after the activity and think about what their own habitat is? How are the student's needs within their own habitat met? What happens if a need is not met? Students can then return to class prepared to share what they have learned about their own survival.

Closure: This activity will close with having the children think about different types of insects. Do different insects have different needs? Are some insect's needs harder to meet than other insect's needs? Through this activity the students have learned the importance of habitat, and how if one element of habitat were missing, an organism would need to struggle in order to survive.

Assessment: The teacher will assess the students through informal assessment. As the rounds of the game occur the teacher can ask "What if?" questions causing students to think about how an insect will respond to its habitat when something happens.


(13) Displaying and Interpreting Data

- Interpret bar graphs.

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