Lesson Plan

Everybody Needs A Home

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Grade Level:
Fourth Grade-Eighth Grade
Biology: Animals, Ecology, Environment, Reading, Visual Arts, Wildlife Biology
45 minutes
Group Size:
Up to 24 (4-8 breakout groups)
National/State Standards:
Standard 6: Students assess the interrelated cycles and forces that shape Earth’s surface, including human interaction with Earth. (ASDOE Elementary Science Standards: Grade 4-8, pp. 40- 73)


The main purpose of this activity is for students to generalize that animals need a home. Homes are not just houses. A house may be considered shelter. People build houses, apartments, trailers, houseboats, and other kinds of shelter in which to live. Animals also need some kind of shelter. The shelter might be underground, in a bush, in the bark of a tree, or under some rocks.


Students will be able to:

1. Name the five components of a successful habitat.

2. Understand that the arrangement of these five components is equally important to making a habitat fully useful.

3. Compare their own home needs and the habitat needs of plants and animals.
4. Understand that loss or change in habitat may impact people and wildlife.



Life thrives on Earth as plants, animals, and other living things such as bacteria and fungi in a variety of natural habitats on land and in water. The natural world supplies habitats, or homes, for living things. A natural habitat is the place where a population (e.g., human, animal, plant, microorganism) lives and its surroundings, both living and non-living. Understanding a species’ habitat requires that we study interactions between living and non-living components in that habitat. Non-living things are inanimate objects or forces with the ability to influence, shape, alter a habitat, and impact its life. Some examples of non-living things include rocks, water, weather, climate, and natural events such as rock falls or earthquakes.                                                                    

For a species to survive, its habitat must consist of five components: food, water, shelter, space, and a successful arrangement of those components. The removal of one of these five components will result in the breakdown of the habitat to the point that it may no longer be able to support life.                                                                                                                                                      

Food is a vital nourishing substance taken into the body to sustain life. Water is a liquid that all life needs to survive. It is absorbed by plants, drunk by animals, or sometimes even metabolized out of solid food eaten by animals. Shelter is a place, form, or structure that protects life forms from weather or other adverse conditions, such as being eaten by predators. Shelter provides refuge for life.  Space is a three-dimensional expanse or area. It makes a place available for life and plays a role in the amount of food, water, shelter, space, and competition available. The arrangement and availability of food, water, shelter, and space in a habitat determines if that area is a successful habitat for a species. For example, if all habitat components are located close together, except for water which might not be found openly in the desert, the distance between the other components and the water might make the area a poor habitat. The arrangement of food, water, shelter, and space in a habitat determines what species can live there. For example, different plants and animals have different needs for water (i.e., fish need a lot of it while lizards only need a little bit), food (i.e., some animals only eat certain plants), space (i.e., coyotes need more than mice), and shelter (i.e., most bats prefer caves and rock crevices while most birds and bats like trees).


1. Drawing paper
2. Crayons and/or markers
3. Photos of birds, bats, coconut crab