Lesson Plan

Habitat Hunt

Wild Bergamot growing along the Flathead River
Grade Level:
Lower Elementary: Pre-Kindergarten through Second Grade
Lesson Duration:
30 Minutes
Additional Standards:
2-LS4-1.Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.

Essential Question

What makes a good home?


Students will understand the difficulty animals have finding all the components of their habitats.


All animals, including people, need a home. Home for animals is different from just a house, like the kind we live in. Wild animals need food, water, shelter and space in just the right arrangement for them.



  • 8 1/2 x 11 inch sheets of laminated paper or poster board the same colors as the groups' cards above
  • Whistle (may be helpful)

For each group of students:

  • 2 or 3 small cards of 1 color (e. g. all orange for group1) for each of the habitat categories -- food, water, shelter and space (8 - 12 total cards, all orange)


  1. Prepare the cards and write "food", "water", "shelter", "space" on them
  2. Before the class, hide the cards in an outdoor area with definable boundaries.
  3. Divide the students into groups and help them select a name (grizzlies, wolves, marmots, elk, etc.)
  4. Tell them they will have 10 minutes to find all the parts of their habitat. They are to run and gather their color cards only, and place them on the 8 1/2 x 11 inch sheet of laminated or poster board "home" paper of the same color. They must gather the pieces for all the parts of their habitat, 1 at a time.
  5. Blow the whistle at the end of the time. Survivors are those who find all their cards within the time limit. Why didn't some groups survive? Was 1 food card enough for all your members? Does it matter where the cards were hidden? What if they were hidden a mile away? Does it matter to an animal how far it must travel to find all four parts of its habitat?


  • Habitat-the natural home or environment for an organism

Assessment Materials

Local Animal Habitat

Students draw an animal from nearby (this region) and draw the four basic needs for survival.

Enrichment Activities

  1. Have the surviving groups turn into humans who help the other groups find their habitat. Can we do this for wild animals -- can we help them by making and saving habitat?
  2. Throw in disadvantages (bad leg/can't run, blind, etc.).

Related Lessons or Education Materials

If you live locally, consider registering for our Exploring Habitats field trip for 2nd graders.

Contact Information

Email us about this lesson plan

Last updated: December 29, 2020