In this unit study, kindergarten and early elementary-aged kids can learn about habitats and explore their backyard habitat. You can find a link to print out a PDF copy of the unit study activities as well as printables to use with the study.
What is a habitat?
- Read this page from Science Trek to learn what a habitat is.
- Watch this song video to get an idea of four common animals and their habitats.
- Learn more about how different animals fit in different habitats by playing this game from The Magic Schoolbus.
- Learn how animals interact with each other in food webs and how their habitats play a part with the Web of Life story at Kids Planet.
- Watch this fun PBS Kids- Sid the Science Kid video that explores habitats at the science museum.
Learn more about different habitats and the animals who live there.
- Use this link to look at twelve main types of habitats. Explore each to see what kinds of animals you can find in each different habitat.
- Use the My Animal Report sheet (in the printable pack) to study one animal you pick. Look especially at the kind of habitat the animal lives in. Would that animal live near you?
- Learn about seven different animal and plant habitats from this site from the Australian Museum.
- Choose one of the seven habitats listed above and create a diorama. You can find out how to create a diorama here.
- Make your own sensory bottles to illustrate various habitats. (These are done for a toddler and preschooler, but older kids could make their own or help you make them.)
- Create construction paper habitats and let kids put play animals in them.
What kind of habitat can I find in my backyard?
- Make a miniature ecosystem to observe critters you find in your yard.
- Create an earthworm habitat to observe.
- Draw birds to your backyard to observe by providing free nesting materials.
- Use this printable from the National Wildlife Federation to look for common backyard birds in your yard.
- Make bug hotels to draw bugs to your yard for observation.
- Use some of the ideas found here to create natural habitats in your yard.
- Use the observation pages (found in the printable pack) to record information about the kind of habitat you can find in your backyard.
- Welcome Home, Bear: A Book of Animal Habitats
- I See a Kookaburra!: Discovering Animal Habitats Around the World
- I Took a Walk
- Magic School Bus Hops Home: A Book About Animal Habitats
- The ABCs of Habitats
- Nature's Patchwork Quilt: Understanding Habitats
- Coral Reefs
- Marshes and Swamps
- The Great Kapok Tree
- Backyard (One Small Square series)- All of this series would be great for covering various habitats.
More Fun Stuff
- The PBS Kids Wild Kratts site has some fun games and videos about animals and their habitats.
- 123 Homeschool 4 Me has an awesome free printable Habitat Adventure Game that teaches kids eight major biomes of the world and some of the animals that live there.
- Older students could color in this biome map of North America. The answer key is found here.
- Design the correct habitat for the endangered black-footed ferret here.
- If you have family members who want to go all out, use this plan to develop your full yard into natural habitat areas.
- Finish up your study on habitats with a trip to the zoo. Use the scavenger hunt sheet (found in the printable pack) to look for different habitats and the animals who live there.
Looking for more great unit study resources?
- A Journey Through Learning has an awesome variety of unit studies with lapbooks. I love their lapbooks because all of the information you need to complete it is right there in the pack!
- Homeschool Legacy is well known for their Once-a-Week unit studies. If you love the idea of unit studies but aren't sure to how to incorporate them with your "regular" curriculum, this is a great option. Many of their studies can also be used to get scouts' badges.
- Moving Beyond the Page is one of my favorite unit study resources. They offer literature-based unit studies that can be purchased as a whole year's curriculum or individually purchased to cover a specific topic or book.
- If you're looking for something a little different, Loving Learning Freely has online unit studies. These are awesome because they can be used fairly independently, and they teach students technology skills as well as the topic they are covering.