Lesson Plan

Scavenger Hunt (Second Grade)

Natchez Trace Scenic Trail, Rocky Springs trail junction
Rocky Springs, Milepost 54.8

NPS Photo

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Grade Level:
Second Grade
Mathematics, Science and Technology
20-30 minutes on trail followed by 20-30 minutes in classroom
Group Size:
Up to 36
National/State Standards:
Science: 1, 1b, 1e
Math: 5, 5a, 5b
habitat, habitats, instinct, Scavenger hunt, field trip, Nature Trail, bar graph, graphing


The students will walk a National Scenic Trail and tally the different habitat elements are along the trail.  The information the students gather will be used to create a bar graph once they return to the classroom.


Enduring Understanding: There are many different habitats.

Essential Question: What are the 4 elements of a habitat?

The students will:

1) Learn the different elements of habitat and learn how to spot these elements in nature

2) Tally the number of instances of habitat elements

3) Make bar graphs that show the relations between each element.

For the complete lesson plan, please email natr_education@nps.gov or call 1-800-305-7417. Please indicate whether or not you need an accessible lesson plan.


Habitat requirements are different for plants and animals. Both need food, water, shelter, and space to survive but animals are able to roam and search for food, water, shelter, and space while plants are not. Plants manufacture their own food using sunlight and water and minerals from the ground. Plants are only able to travel long distances when they are seeds by way of a variety of adaptations. They may attach to an animal or float through the air. The seeds do not "choose" where to grow and can only grow if they land in a suitable space. For example, an acorn planted by a squirrel in a flowerpot of daisies would not have enough space to live out its life. As for the shelter, some plants need to be shaded to survive and some do not. Animals take a much more active role in finding a habitat. They are usually able to move to a new habitat if an element of theirs becomes inadequate. Anything that protects the animal from weather, sun, protects the young or is refuge from predators is considered the animal's shelter. Space can range from the underside of a leaf to an ocean. Depending on the species, food can be plant, animal, insect or a combination of those.


1.) Tally sheet: printed on cardstock, two sheets per paper to be cut in half. (Lesson plan includes a Tally sheet template. 

2.) Pencil

3.) Plain paper, ruler, crayons/markers, posterboard



The teacher will assess the students on participation on the hike and on the bar graphs. The students should turn the graphs in on the assigned date. The graphs should be neat, colorful, and accurate. The teacher will grade accuracy by making sure the students turn the tally sheets in with the bar graph.

Park Connections

The Natchez Trace Parkway contains many examples of different habitats.


The teacher should put the students into groups of four. As a group, the students will work together and make a habitat for a plant or animal. The assignment may be drawn on a poster board.

The teacher could also assign the students to look for the elements of habitat in their back yard. The teacher may also assign extra credit for the students who write three or four sentences about the elements that are found in their back yard.


Food, water, shelter, space

Last updated: January 10, 2018