BCP DRAFT SCI 48

First Grade - Science - Lesson 32 - Animal Habitats - Forest

Objectives

Identify the basic needs of animals.

Become familiar with the animals and plants that live in a forest habitat.

Teacher Information

You may wish to write to the National Wildlife Federation at the address listed below. NWF has a Backyard Wildlife Habitat Program that will provide simple guidelines to help people make their environments better habitats for wildlife. They also have a Schoolyard Habitats program which focuses on developing and maintaining habitat-based learning sites at schools.

National Wildlife Federation

8925 Leesburg Pike

Vienna, VA 22184

(800) 822-9919

Suggested Books

Burton, Jane. Animals at Home. Brookfield, CT: Newington Press, 1991.

Coldrey, Jennifer. Where Animals Live: The World of Squirrels. Milwaukee: Gareth Stevens, 1986.

Hirschi, Ron. Discover My World: Forest. New York: Bantam, 1991.

On each page of this picture book clues are given to find a forest animal in the illustration. As the children are solving the word puzzles, they discover animals that live in wooded areas.

Killion, Bette. The Apartment House Tree. New York: Harper & Row, 1989.

The picture book lists the different animals that make their homes in a tree.

Lauber, Patricia. Fur, Feathers, and Flippers: How Animals Live, Where They Do. New York: Scholastic, 1994.

Lavies, Bianca. Tree Trunk Traffic. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1989.

Clear photographs and simple text make this a nice book to share with the children. You may wish to warn them that the book contains close-up photographs of animals and insects.

Relf, Patricia. The Magic School Bus Hops Home: A Book About Animal Habitats. New York: Scholastic, 1995.

Robbins, Ken. Earth: The Elements. New York: Henry Holt, 1995.

Description and picture of woodlands.

Tresselt, Alvin. The Gift of the Tree. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1992.

This beautiful picture book tells the story of the life cycle of an oak tree.

Materials

Pictures of squirrels and raccoons from books or magazines





BCP DRAFT SCI 49

First Grade - Science - Lesson 32 - Animal Habitats - Forest

Procedure

Tell the children that just like humans, animals have basic needs that must be met for them to survive. Say: The place where an animal lives is called its habitat. A habitat is a place where the needs of a particular plant or animal are met. Explain to the children that their neighborhood is like a habitat. Tell the children that different animals live in different types of

habitats, such as a forest, a pond, or a desert. For example a dolphin prefers an ocean habitat and a polar bear prefers a cold, snowy habitat. Some types of animals are able to live in more than one kind of habitat. For example, you would be able to find rabbits living in both a forest and in a desert. Read the following poem to the children. (You might want to copy the poem on chart paper and post it in your room for the duration of this unit.)



The Animals' Homes

Unknown

The desert air

Is dry and hot,

But the camel likes it there.

A hot, wet swamp

With buzz and sting

Is a lizard's favorite lair.

 

A reindeer loves

The Alaskan snow

Where the air is cold and dry.

Walrus and seal

In waters cold

Swim where people wouldn't try.

An eagle will nest

On mountain high,

A mild, cool place to choose.

While prairie quail

In grass will hide

Through rain or shine and dew.

A person lives

In every place

Where animals can tread,

With tools and hands

To build a place

To house a warm, dry bed.



Write the following basic needs on the board as you describe them to the children. An animal needs space to live, nest, and raise its young; shelter or a safe place to hide from enemies and be protected from bad weather; water for drinking and bathing; and last but not least, food to live and grow. Explain to the children that unlike humans, animals' needs are completely met with things found in nature.

Tell the children that you will begin your study with a forest habitat. Ask: What animals and plants would you find in a forest? Tell the children that we are going to be talking about a forest that we would find in the United States. If the children start naming animals that you would find in a rain forest or an African jungle, steer them back to the animals that would be found in wooded areas in the U.S. such as raccoons, squirrels, mice, deer, etc. Explain that forests make good homes for many animals because trees and bushes in the forest provide shelter and food.

Read aloud to the children any of the books listed above; The Gift of the Tree by Alvin Tresselt is especially good because of the large, beautiful illustrations.

Tell the children that two animals that can be found in a forest are squirrels and raccoons. Show the children pictures of both animals. Explain that although both animals look cute and

cuddly, they are wild and should never be touched or picked up, instead they should be observed or watched from a distance. Tell the children the following information about raccoons and squirrels.

-- Both raccoons and squirrels like to make their homes in trees. Squirrels prefer a deep hole in the trunk of a tree for their home and raccoons like hollow trees or logs.

-- Squirrels like to eat nuts, seeds, fruit, mushrooms, and sometimes birds' eggs and baby mice.

-- Raccoons will eat almost anything--fish, fruit, small animals, birds' eggs, even leftovers found in a garbage. Raccoons are interesting eaters because they use their front paws much like hands. With these "hands" they are able to open shells and take the lids off garbage cans. ". . . raccoons have a peculiar habit of dipping food in water before eating it, but they aren't really trying to wash it, as a lot of people believe. Most likely, this is an instinctive act (something they do without learning), developed because dipping food in water makes it easier to chew and swallow."(1)

Possible Guest Speakers

You may want to contact Scales and Tales at the Maryland Dept. Of Natural Resources (922-8825) to arrange for a representative to visit your classroom. Also, Irvine Natural Science Center (Stevenson, MD, 484-2413) has naturalists on staff that have programs featuring birds and other animals.

Possible Field Trips

Bragg Nature Center

6601 Baltimore National Pik

Baltimore, MD 21228

The Baltimore Zoo

Additional Activities

1. Have the children write and illustrate a "why" story about how the raccoon got its black mask or ringed tail.

2. Have the children make raccoon masks out of black construction paper.

 

BCP DRAFT SCI 51

First Grade - Science - Lesson 33 - Animal Habitats - Desert

Objectives

Describe a cactus plant.

Observe the way a cactus is able to conserve water.

Become familiar with the characteristics of a desert habitat.

Suggested Books

Read Alouds

Bash, Barbara. Desert Giant: The World of the Saguaro Cactus. Boston: Little Brown, 1989. Gives detailed information about the Saguaro Cactus, as well as describing many animals that live in the desert.

Gibbons, Gail. Deserts. New York: Holiday House, 1996.

Simple text describes the desert habitat. Nice illustrations.

Rinard, Judith E. Wonders of the Desert World. National Geographic Society, 1976.

Beautiful photographs of desert plant and animal life.

Robbins, Ken. Earth: The Elements. New York: Henry Holt, 1995.

Description and picture of a desert habitat.

Siebert, Diane. Mojave. New York: Crowell, 1988.

Poetic text describes the desert landscape.

Wright-Frierson, Virginia. A Desert Scrapbook: Dawn to Dusk in the Sonoran Desert. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996.

Simple text, beautiful illustrations.

Yolen, Jane. Welcome to the Sea of Sand. New York: Putnam, 1996.

Nice illustrations of desert wildlife.

Teacher Reference

Taylor, Barbara. Desert Life. New York: Dorling Kindersley, 1992.

Materials

A cactus plant

Wax paper

Paper towels

Water

Procedure

Ask the children to tell you what they know about a desert. Tell the children that deserts are usually hot, dry, and can be sandy or rocky. Only a few kinds of plants and animals can survive in the desert because there is not much water and not much food to eat. In order to live, animals and plants must be able to stand the very hot days and cold nights.

Explain to the children that many animals make their homes underground to be out of the sun or are more active at night to protect themselves from the heat. Snakes and reptiles that live in the desert rest during the day in the shade or buried in the sand, and hunt after dark. Ask: Have you ever been at the beach and dug a hole in the sand. What did you notice about the sand as you

BCP DRAFT SCI 52

First Grade - Science - Lesson 33 - Animal Habitats - Desert

dug deeper? Was it cooler or warmer as you dug? Explain that as you dig under the ground it

gets cooler and that is why some animals bury themselves underground, out of the sun.

Ask the children if they have ever seen a cactus plant. Show the children a cactus plant. Have the children brainstorm words they would use to describe the cactus. Point out the parts of the cactus (the green stem and the pointy spines). Tell the children that the spines on the cactus

are there for a few different reasons. Say: For instance the spines provide shade for the cactus plant when the sun is shining and they scare off animals that might try to eat the cactus. Explain that although the cactus has pointy spines, the green skin of the cactus is thick, waxy, and smooth. Read the following description to the children:

 

Cactuses can survive with very little water, and some kinds can live for years without any water at all. Cactus roots spread out near the surface so that they can soak up moisture from dew or brief rainstorms. Most plants lose water through tiny breathing holes in their leaves and stems. But cactuses have developed spines rather than leaves, and they have

fewer holes in their stems, so less water can escape.(2)



Tell the children that when it does rain, the cells inside the stem of the cactus absorb water the way a sponge does if you were to sprinkle water on it or try to wipe water off a surface with it. If possible you may want to read Desert Giant by Barbara Bash, Deserts by Gail Gibbons, or Wonders of the Desert World by Judith E. Rinard to the children. Each of these books gives information about the plants and wildlife that live in the desert environment.

Conduct the following demonstration for the children.

1. Roll up two bunches of dampened paper towels.

2. Roll wax paper around one of the bunches and fasten the ends with tape.

3. Place both of the bunches of towels in the sun.

4. The next day unroll the paper towels and have the children feel the paper towels.

5. Explain that the wax paper is similar to the waxy skin of the cactus. The wax paper keeps the moisture in the paper towel, in the same way that the green, waxy skin of the cactus helps to keep moisture inside the cactus plant.

BCP DRAFT SCI 53

First Grade - Science - Lesson 34 - Animal Habitats - Underground

Adapted from STARS "About Animals" Lessons 4 & 5 - Earthworms

Objectives

Conduct observations of earthworms.

Observe and describe earthworm responses to various stimuli.

Construct and use a chart to record observations.

Suggested Books

Jennings, Terry. Earthworms. New York: Gloucester Press, 1988.

Pringle, Laurence. Twist, Wiggle, and Squirm. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1973.

Materials

Shovel, bucket, earthworms, soil

Plastic baggies

Craft or popsicle sticks

Large sheets of white paper or a plastic sheet

Attached worksheets

Shoebox

Paper towels

Ice

Procedure

Prior to this lesson, you will need to obtain earthworms either by digging up soil outdoors or by purchasing earthworms at a pet or aquarium store. To dig up soil from outdoors, measure off an area 1 foot square and collect soil to a depth of 2 or 3 inches. As you remove the soil watch for burrows of worms and insects. They may be found singly or in groups.

Back in the classroom, pour the soil samples onto large sheets of white paper. Tell the students they will be science detectives searching for "hidden neighbors." Review as you carefully sort through the soil, that we have learned that some animals and plants live in forests and in deserts. Explain that today we are going to learn about an animal that lives in an underground habitat. Place the different kinds of animal life in baggies. (Use a stick if you do not wish to pick the worms up.) Use the stick to "herd" things into the baggies.

Set rules with the children as to how the earthworms must be handled. For example: The earthworms must remain on the table--do not pick the earthworms up. Do not try to cut the earthworms. Move the earthworms cautiously and gently. Have the children work in groups to investigate the characteristics and behaviors of earthworms. Using the student worksheet provided, read the directions to the children and model filling in the answers on the board for each section. Have the children complete one section at a time. Explain to students that in this exercise, they will attempt to discover how an earthworm reacts to light and dark, wet and dry, warm and cold.

Review the information the children gathered about the earthworms. Have each group report to the rest of the class some of the things they learned about the earthworms. Add to the discussion by explaining to the children that earthworms live in underground tunnels and therefore prefer dark to light. When the earthworms burrow or dig through the dirt, they make the soil better by bringing air and water under the ground and by fertilizing the soil. The soil is better because the worms loosen packed dirt. Ask: Have you ever noticed dirt that is really packed down? Give an example of dirt around a slide or a swingset at the playground. Explain that when dirt is packed together too tightly, it is hard for anything to grow in it. The earthworms help loosen dirt as they wriggle through tunnels underground.

You may want to keep some of the earthworms in a worm farm in the classroom, so that

the children can watch the worms form underground tunnels. Fill a large jar three quarters full of moist soil. Place three to five worms on top of the soil in the jar. Earthworms are vegetarians so you should feed the worms carrot tops, celery leaves, lettuce, etc. (Remove any food that the earthworms do not eat so that it does not spoil.) Cover the container with plastic and make small holes to let in air. Wrap the container in black paper and allow the farm to sit undisturbed for one week. After a week, you will see that the worms have made burrows. Make sure to keep the earthworm farm out of direct sunlight and away from a heat source.

Since earthworms do have taste cells, you might want to have the children watch to see what they like to eat. Make a chart showing the foods that the earthworms liked and the foods the earthworms disliked.

If possible, read aloud Twist, Wiggle, and Squirm by Laurence Pringle, which provides a good summary of interesting information about earthworms.

Optional Activities

Have students make a snack of "worms in dirt" by mixing chocolate pudding, crushed oreo cookies, and gummy worms.

BCP DRAFT SCI 55

First Grade - Science - Lesson 35 - Animal Habitats - Prairie

Objectives

Become familiar with prairie dogs and their habitat in the western U.S.

Review forest, desert, and underground habitats.

Suggested Books

Read Alouds

Casey, Denise. The Friendly Prairie Dog. New York: Dodd, Mead, & Co., 1987.

Dvorak, David. Sea of Grass. New York: Macmillan, 1993.

Large, beautiful photographs. The text describes the prairie during different seasons of the year.

Hirschi, Ron. Where Are My Prairie Dogs and Black-Footed Ferrets? New York: Bantam, 1992.

Robbins, Ken. Earth: The Elements. New York: Henry Holt, 1995.

Description and picture of a grassland area.

Teacher Reference

Bradenburg, Jim. An American Safari: Adventures on the North American Prairie. New York: Walker, 1995. (Advanced text, but beautiful photographs)

Materials

Concrete poem worksheets (attached)

Classroom size U.S. map

Procedure

If possible read Where Are My Prairie Dogs and Black-Footed Ferrets? by Ron Hirschi or Sea of Grass by David Dvorak. Both books give a good deal of information about the prairie, contain beautiful photographs, and are a perfect introduction to the prairies. Another good read aloud is The Friendly Prairie Dog by Denise Casey. This book also contains nice photographs and simple text describing prairie dogs.

Ask the children if they can name areas where they would find green grass in their neighborhood (a park, their yards, a playground). Tell the children that there were once huge areas of flat grassland that stretched across the central and western areas of the United States as far as the eye can see. Point to these areas on a map of the U.S. Say: Today farmers use the land to grow crops or plants that can be eaten and raise cows for milk and meat in this area, so the areas of grassland have become much smaller.

Tell the children that there are many animals that live on the prairie: buffalo, antelope, many different kinds of birds. Say: One special animal that lives on the prairie is the prairie dog. Explain that a prairie dog looks something like a squirrel, but they are called prairie dogs because they bark like a dog. (Show pictures of prairie dogs from one of the books listed above.) Prairie dogs live in areas called towns where they have dug tunnels underground. The prairie dogs build their homes by digging tunnels and rooms in which to live. Prairie dogs don't live underground all the time like the earthworm though; they spend all day above the ground and only go beneath the ground at night or when they need to hide from another animal. If any danger comes, one prairie dog will warn the others in the town by barking out a warning and the others will run back BCP DRAFT SCI 56

First Grade - Science - Lesson 35 - Animal Habitats - Prairie

to the holes to go underground.

Review the habitats that have been studied by asking various children to name a habitat and an animal or plant from that habitat. Tell the children that in addition to forest, desert,

underground, and prairie habitats, there are also water habitats such as a pond or an ocean. There

are many different animals and plants that live in the water all of the time, as fish do, or some of

the time, as certain kinds of frogs and turtles do. Say: We will be studying oceans and undersea life next month.

As a culminating activity for the unit on habitats, have the children make a concrete poem

by using descriptive words or phrases to form the shape of a plant or animal from one of the habitats studied. The words used do not have to rhyme; they should simply give information about the subject of the poem. Brainstorm with the children words for each plant or animal. Write the words on the board and have the children write their poems by writing words along the outline of one of the pictures. See attached worksheets.

BCP DRAFT SCI 57

First Grade - Science - Animal Habitats

Bibliography

Read Alouds

*Bash, Barbara. Desert Giant: The World of the Saguaro Cactus. Boston: Little Brown, 1989.

Burton, Jane. Animals at Home. Brookfield, CT: Newington Press, 1991.

*Casey, Denise. The Friendly Prairie Dog. New York: Dodd, Mead, & Co., 1987.

Coldrey, Jennifer. Where Animals Live: The World of Squirrels. Milwaukee: Gareth Stevens, 1986.

*Dvorak, David. Sea of Grass. New York: Macmillan, 1993.

*Gibbons, Gail. Deserts. New York: Holiday House, 1996.

Hirschi, Ron. Discover My World: Forest. New York: Bantam, 1991.

*Hirschi, Ron. Where Are My Prairie Dogs and Black-Footed Ferrets? New York: Bantam, 1992.

Jennings, Terry. Earthworms. New York: Gloucester Press, 1988.

Killion, Bette. The Apartment House Tree. New York: Harper & Row, 1989.

Lauber, Patricia. Fur, Feathers, and Flippers: How Animals Live, Where They Do. New York: Scholastic, 1994.

Lavies, Bianca. Tree Trunk Traffic. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1989.

*Pringle, Laurence. Twist, Wiggle, and Squirm. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1973.

Relf, Patricia. The Magic School Bus Hops Home: A Book About Animal Habitats. New York: Scholastic, 1995.

*Rinard, Judith E. Wonders of the Desert World. National Geographic Society, 1976.

Robbins, Ken. Earth: The Elements. New York: Henry Holt, 1995.

Siebert, Diane. Mojave. New York: Crowell, 1988.

*Tresselt, Alvin. The Gift of the Tree. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1992.

Wright-Frierson, Virginia. A Desert Scrapbook: Dawn to Dusk in the Sonoran Desert. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996.

Yolen, Jane. Welcome to the Sea of Sand. New York: Putnam, 1996.

Teacher Reference

Taylor, Barbara. Desert Life. New York: Dorling Kindersley, 1992.













* Titles marked with an asterisk are suggested as part of a lesson.

1. Warner Shedd. The Kids' Wildlife Book: Exploring Animal Worlds through Indoor/Outdoor Experiences. (Charlotte, VT: Williamson, 1994.), 28.

2. Barbara Taylor. Desert Life. (New York: Dorling Kindersley, 1992),p. 18.