Materials List: Animals, Habitats, and Food Sources BLM; Animals/ Habitats Diorama Rubric BLM; resource materials for organisms selected by groups; basic art supplies such as crayons, markers, construction paper, etc; shoe boxes or similar type boxes; internet access
Choose one of the animals discussed by a group from the previous day and have students engage in a discussion about how and where the animalís needs can be met. Remind students of the basic needs of food, shelter, and water and have them suggest ways these needs can be met. Following the discussion, display a variety of picture cards such as the ones found on the Animals, Habitats, and Food Sources BLM. Introduce the term habitat as a natural environment in which an organism lives that has what the organism needs to survive. Facilitate a discussion of the picture cards and have students match the animals to possible environments and food sources. Facilitate a discussion and encourage students to question and justify their choices. Why is it important for animals to have a specific environment and food source? What would happen if the animalís habitat were destroyed? What would happen if the animal's food source were lessened?
Investigation Task: Using the animals chosen, have each group design and create a diorama of an appropriate habitat for the animal. Students can visit www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/diorama for ideas. Students should consider the animal, an appropriate habitat, and specific food sources as they design their diorama. Provide basic art supplies and resource materials for each of the groups. Have students visit www.nationalgeographic.com/kids, www.enchantedlearning.com/biomes or the National Wildlife Federation website www.nwf.org/kids for photographs, videos, and activities involving animals in their habitats or look in magazines such as My Big Backyard, Ranger Rick, or Louisiana Conservationist. When dioramas are completed, the students can make presentations to the class.