- The students will understand how living things are interconnected.
- The students will understand what a habitat is.
- The students will identify communities of plants and animals.
A habitat is the place where plants and animals normally live. Some habitats have lots of plants and animals, some do not. Some habitats are near water, some are on top of mountains. Each habitat often has a different mixture of species living there. The group of plants and animals living in a habitat is called a community.
- Habitat: the place where an animal or plant normally lives
- Community: the group of plants and animals living in a habitat
1. Using the cards previously made in Unit 1 Lessons 1 and 2, ask students to group the types of plants that they found together in their outdoor explorations. Explain that each grouping represents a habitat. It is usually named for the major type of plants it contains, and it contains the water, food, and shelter an animal needs to survive. Habitats in Kenya may include:
• Open field or grassland
• Woodland or scrub
• Parkland, a mixture of the two
• Kopje, a rocky outcropping with sparse vegetation
• Riverine, through which a river flows
2. Next, have them place animal cards in each habitat where they were seen.
3. Ask if there are connections between the plants and the animals. For example, which plants did they see animals eating? Were the animals using plants for other purposes (shade, perching, nests)? Point out that sometimes plants and animals help each other; sometimes they harm each other. For example, some plants need animals for pollination. And animals can help disperse seeds. But some plants have thorns to protect themselves from being eaten by animals. Many animals are herbivores and only eat plants. Which ones?
4. Have students draw pictures of the different habitats with the plants and animals found there.
5. Have students describe the habitat in which they themselves live. What do they need to survive? Have children draw a picture of their habitat.
Questions For Discussion
- What is a habitat? Can you name a habitat and tell what plants and animals you would find there?
- Are some animals found in different habitats? Why?
- What are some similarities and differences between human and animal habitats?
1. Animals and Habitats Matching Game
Divide students into groups of four. Using the cards that the students have drawn, mix together a set of animal cards and a set of habitat cards. Lay them out upside down. One child chooses two cards and turns them over right where they are. If they match, that is, the animal would be found in that habitat, the student keeps the cards and gets another turn. If they don’t match, the student turns them back over in their places, and the next student takes a turn. When all the cards have been matched, the student with the most pairs wins the game.
2. Habitats and Communities Game
Using the cards that the students have drawn, have each child choose one picture of a plant or animal they would like to be. First have them construct habitats, by holding their cards and moving around the area. Then add the animals to make communities. Some animals could be in more than one habitat; does this confuse the students? An animal may spend some time feeding on grass, then walk to trees for shade. What if they eat all the good grass in an area?