Grade: Elementary
Subject: Science

#1800. wild animal investigation-habitat diorama

Science, level: Elementary
Posted Fri Jun 16 12:02:14 PDT 2000 by Myra Wagner ().
Jewett, Waterloo, United States
Materials Required: reference books, computers, graphic organizer, note card
Activity Time: two weeks
Concepts Taught: Species depend on each other and on the environment

Title: Wild Animal Investigation-Habitat Diorama

Subject Matter Emphasis and Level: Third Grade Life Science

Brief Description of the lesson: Students will research wild animals in cooperative groups. They will use their information to construct habitat dioramas

Why Do This?
The following standards are addressed:
Effectively gather and use information for research purposes
Demonstrate competence in using different information sources, including those of a technical nature, to accomplish specific tasks
Understand how species depend on one another and on the environment

It is a third grade science performance assessment.

The following critical objectives are taught:
Take notes on nonfiction reading materials
Gather information from a variety of sources.
Read for a specific purpose
Use reference materials
Know what animals need to survive
Identify habitats and what animals live there

Students will be able to choose the animal they want to research for their assigned habitat. I will provide the foundation for this lesson by teaching unit one, Life Science, in Science Horizons (Silver Burdett Ginn). Students' interest in animals and their need to learn to work together cooperatively are also addressed in this lesson. Conceptual difficulties might be readability and vocabulary. These difficulties will be addressed by having at least one strong reader in each group and by providing dictionary sources in the classroom and on the Internet.

I will conference with each group to help them evaluate the information they have gathered and recorded on a teacher prepared data collection sheet. They will complete a teacher prepared note card with a checklist of information needed in order to assess themselves. I will use the performance assessment rubric to grade the dioramas. They should include animals, correct habitat, shelter, food source, water source, and plant life.

Teaching Strategies
Students will be organized into groups of four or five, depending on class size. Each cooperative group will be assigned a habitat. Each group will use print materials to identify animals that live in their habitat. Each student will choose an animal from their habitat to research. The habitats are polar area, desert, rainforest, temperate forest, water, and plains. Each group will use a scrapbook of animal sites and books from the library to collect and record information on a data collection sheet. When each group has enough information, they will use it to create their diorama and complete their note card. Students will share their dioramas with the rest of the class. I will use direct instruction and modeling to show the class how to use the Internet sites and how to fill out the data collection sheet before they begin the project.

Materials and Resources
nonfiction primary trade books from library
wall maps
Internet sites:
Sedgwick County Zoo

Sea World

Philadelphia Zoo

Kids Planet

Desert USA

Animals of the Arctic

Oakland Zoo

Ask an Ex[pert

Ask Jeeves For Kids


Word Central Student Dictionary

Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Each cooperative group will be assigned a location in the classroom to do research and construct
dioramas. They will take turns using the computer to do their research during Accelerated Reading time. We will print the materials they complete the data collection sheet. There will be at least one strong reader in each group to help the ones who need it. I will be observing, questioning, and helping students throughout the process.

Support Services
Media specialist (gather library materials)