Lesson Plan

Scavenger Hunt (First Grade)

Old Natchez Trace Trail, photo taken by Doug Schmidt
Old Natchez Trace Trail, 417.4
Doug Schmidt


The students will walk on a trail that is a portion of the Natchez Trace Parkway National Scenic Trail and try to find examples of habitat that are pictured on a scavenger hunt sheet. The students will learn the various requirements that plants and animals have and how those requirements differ.


Enduring Understanding: Habitats provide the requirements for the survival of animals and plants.

Essential Question: What elements do animals and plans need to survive in their habitat?

The student will:

1.) Identify the different elements of habitat (food, water, shelter, and space)

2.) Recognize the habitat of a plant or animal.


The students should be familiar with the concept of habitat or environment or minimally, that different animals live in different places. They should understand that all animals need food, water, shelter, and space to live. Also, plants need a place to grow and water. Most plants do not need shelter and they make their own food using sunlight and minerals from the soil. In addition plants are not able to choose where to live and grow. Animals learn to survive and are able to move about to find food, water, shelter, and space. Animals have instincts that help them to find these elements to survive.


1.) Scavenger hunt card

2.) Pen or pencil for each student.


Student Task: The students will walk a trail along the Natchez Trace. While they are hiking the trail, they should look for places that look like or match the concept of the pictures on their scavenger hunt sheet. When they see these places, they should put an X over the picture to show that they saw it. The students should refer to and read from the top of the scavenger hunt sheet to discover what category (food, water, shelter or space) the object is in when he or she finds it.

Student Instruction:

1.) Each students will receive a scavenger hunt card.

2.) The students will walk a trail along the Natchez Trace Parkway.

3.) Students will place an X over a picture on the hunt card when they see what is depicted in the picture along the trail

Teacher Closure: After the teacher determines that the students have recognized enough of the habitat elements, the teacher may conclude the hike by allowing the students to shout out "Food", "Water", "Shelter" or "Space," when they see an element of habitat. When the class returns to their class room, the teacher should hold a class discussion.

Suggestions for questions:

1) Did you see all of the habitat elements/parts on the trail?

2) Were there any blocks you did not check off?

a. Why?

b. Where might you be able to find that element?

3) Which habitat part was hardest to find?

4) Which habitat part was easiest to find?

5) Was there anything you saw that was not on your sheet?

6) What did you like most about being on the trail?


The students are assessed by participating in the hike. The teacher may also observe which students actually shouted out at the end of the hike. Ranger provided scavenger hunt boards should be turned back into a ranger after the hike.

Park Connections

There are many different habitat types along the Natchez Trace Parkway.


In the classroom, the students should draw a picture that includes all four elements of habitat. When the students have completed the assignment, the pictures should be hung on the wall for everyone to see.


Habitat, instinct