Habitats A Kindergarten Thematic Unit Diane Nelson Wendy Lane

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Habitats A Kindergarten Thematic Unit Diane Nelson Wendy Lane Powered By Docstoc
					Habitats A Kindergarten Thematic Unit

Diane Nelson 1 Wendy Lane Rutland, VT 05701 802-775-6048 August 16, 2005

A Kindergarten Thematic Unit
Objectives: Student will define habitat. Student will name the 4 components of a habitat: water, food, shelter, and space. Student will name an animal and describe its habitat.

Vermont’s Framework of Standards Identified: 3.9 Sustainability Students make decisions that demonstrate understanding of human and natural communities, the ecological, economic, political, or social systems within them, and awareness of how their personal and collective actions affect the sustainability of these interrelated systems. 4.6 Understanding Place Students demonstrate understanding of the relationship between their local environment and community heritage and how each shapes their lives. 7.16 (Proposed) Natural Resources Students demonstrate understanding of natural resources and why and how they are managed. 1.1 Reading Strategies Students use a variety of strategies to help them read. 1.6 Writing Conventions Students’ independent writing demonstrates command of appropriate English conventions, including grammar, usage, and mechanics. 7.6 Arithmetic, Number, and Operation Concepts Students understand arithmetic in computation, and they select and use, in appropriate situations, mental arithmetic, pencil and paper, calculator, and computer.

Overview: This thematic unit on habitats is intended for kindergarten and includes activities in reading, writing, mathematics, as well as science. The first part of the unit focuses on defining what a habitat is beginning with activites where children learn about where they live. The second part of this unit studies the habitat of a specific animal, the beaver. The children will learn about other animal habitats in the third part of the unit. The animals and habitats will be those found in Vermont. Stewardship will be an important element throughout the first three parts of this unit, however the fourth part will focus on our responsibility as humans to protect wildlife, and specifically animal habitats. In the book, The Wildlife Forever CDRom Curriculum, stewardship is described as taking responsibility for the land. Learning a sense of appreciation, respect, and connection to the natural world can lead to responsible environmental behavior (page 238). Although young children will have a difficult time understanding their own role in protecting animal habitats, teaching them about animal habitats and their importance can be an important first step in developing this sense of stewardship. Due to the limited amount of time I am now able to spend on science activities, this unit is intended to span several months. The first part will begin in the fall and will correlate with other get to know each other activities and the “All About Me” unit. The third part can mostly be done in the winter and will go with a literature unit on Jan Brett’s The Mitten. The final part, which includes a nature hike to a pond, will take place in the spring. This part will fit in with the April Earth Day celebration. The assessment piece of this unit is built into the activities. Ongoing observation of the children and discussions should be a part of this assessment. The activities which are earmarked for assessment are marked in red ***.

Part 1: Defining a Habitat Literature Brett, Jan. Town Mouse, Country Mouse. New York: Scholastic, 1994. Hoberman, Mary Ann. A House Is A House For Me. Viking Press, 1978. Kalman, Bobbie. Homes Around the World. New York: Crabtree Publishing Co. 1994. Skoepen, Liesel Moak. We Were Tired of Living in a House. Toronto: Coward McCann Inc. 1969.

Methods/ Procedures/ Materials Class Book Students will make a class book about where we all live. Materials: 1 piece of white 8 ½ x11” for each student, photocopied book page “Who Lives In ___ House?” for each child (see attached master – copy onto 9x12” tag board), crayons and pencils Time: Two 30 minute sessions Give each child a piece of white paper and demonstrate the folding process. See illustration.

When completed the folded paper should resemble a house. Instruct students to color their paper to look like their house/ apartment/ trailer. Instruct students to open up the folded paper and draw a picture of each person who lives in their home. Mount these on the photocopied book page. Students write their name on the blank. Assemble the book, have each student share their page with the class and then place it in the Book Center. Read Homes Around The World as a follow up. (Also use for the next activity)

“Kerplunk” Source: We Care: A Preschool Curriculum for Children Ages 2-5, p. 29. Materials: empty coffee can, coins Time: 5 minutes per child This is a fun counting game to play to help a new class get to know one another. After making the home book above, pick a student each day to go to their page in the book and count the number of people living in their home. Then give that child the same number of coins and the coffee can. Instruct other students to close their eyes while the child drops the coins, one at a time into the can. The other children have to count with their ears, and hold up the matching fingers.

Graph “How Many People Live In Your Home?” Materials: Pre-made graph, small cards Time: 15 minutes Read the graph to the students and give each child a card to write their name. Then they attach their cards onto the graph. Discuss the graph when completed.

What’s Around Your Home? Materials: chart paper, markers Time: 20 minutes Ask each child to go outside of their home and make a list of 10 things that they see for homework. The next day, gather the students together around the chart paper and ask them to remember the things they saw and record them on the paper. Discuss the fact that we live in a city and what they saw are things people usually see in cities. Lead this into defining what a habitat is. Review this definition often and assess*** students understanding of habitat through class discussions.

What’s That Habitat? Source: Project Wild, pp. 56-57 Materials: none Time: 20 minutes Do only steps 1, 2, 3, 4, as a discussion only to introduce the four components of a habitat (food, water, shelter, and space).

Part 2: Beaver and Their Habitat

Literature Gibson, Deborah Chase. Beavers and Their Homes. New York: PowerKids Press, 1999. Sullivan, Jody. Beavers Big Toothed Builders. Minnesota: Bridgestone Books, 2003.

Methods/ Procedures/ Materials The Beaver Book Materials: The Beaver Book (see below), pointers Time: 5 -10 minutes per day for a few weeks Use The Beaver Book with pointers to learn about and review concepts of print during Shared Reading. Also use to introduce/ review the key kindergarten words I and HAVE. This book also reviews the four components of a habitat: water, food, space, and shelter.

The Beaver Simulation Game Source: Materials: blindfolds, odor source such a cologne Time: 30 minutes See attached for directions to this game which would be great for a rainy day indoor recess.

Build a Beaver Lodge Source: adapted from The Kids’ Wildlife Book, p. 43 and beaver master (attached) from Materials: paper plates, small sticks, clay, one beaver pattern for each student copied onto tag board Time: 1 hour Students will make their own miniature beaver lodges with sticks and clay (mud), making sure they hollow out a room underneath. Decorate each lodge with an tag board beaver (see attached for beaver master).

Beaver Word Problem Materials: photocopied beaver problem (attached), pencils, Beavers and Their Homes (Gibson) and Beavers Big Toothed Builders (Sullivan) Time: 30 minutes Read about beavers and their young in Beavers and Their Homes and Beavers Big Toothed Builders. Children will solve the word problem using previously taught strategies.

Coloring Sheet and Assessment Source: Materials: photocopied coloring sheet (attached), crayons Time: 30 minutes Distribute the coloring sheet to each child to color. As an assessment*** , ask each student individually to describe what is going on in the picture. Then ask them to describe the background or habitat you see in the picture.

Part 3: Other Animal Habitats Literature Curran, Eileen. Life In The Pond. New Jersey: Troll Assoc., 1985 Fleming, Denise. In The Small, Small Pond. New York: Henry Holt and Co., 1993. Hewitt, Sally. Animal Homes. Chicago: Two-Can Publishing, 2002. Kalan, Robert. Jump, Frog, Jump. Greenwillow Books, 1981. Paul, Tess. In Fields and Meadows. New York: Crabtree Publishing Co., 1997. Podendorf, Illa. Animal Homes. Chicago: Children’s Press, 1982. Selsam, Millicent. Big Tracks, Little Tracks, New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1995. Stone, Lynn. Pond Life. Chicago: Children’s Press, 1983. Taylor, Barbara. Forest Life. New York: Dorling Kindersley, 1993.

Methods/ Procedures/ Materials

The Beaver Book Materials: The Beaver Book Continue to read The Beaver Book from Part 2 during Shared Reading to review the four components of a habitat: water, food, shelter, and space.

School Yard Safari/ Trees As Habitats/ and a study of Galls Source: Project Learning Tree, pp 70-71 and pp. 151-152 Hands On Nature, pp 85-86., Materials: galls (found on the nature hike at the Diamond Run Mall in Rutland, VT, paper and pencil, clipboards, paper bags to collect items Time: 45 – 60 minutes

Combine these activities in which children explore areas they are familiar with to introduce them to other animal habitats. Children can record their findings on the “Home Hunting” sheet (attached) from

Habitat Websites at the Computer Center Materials: computer Time: varied depending on child’s interest level Offer these websites at the Computer Center at Choice Time: Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus Great Habitat Match-Up (This website is more difficult and will require an adult or older student to accompany the kindergarteners.)

“Right At Home” Booklet Wheel Source: Mailbox Magazine – Kindergarten, Apr/May 2005, pp. 31-33 Materials: Photocopied wheels and pages for each student, crayons, scissors, paper fasteners, Animal Homes (Podendorf) and Animal Homes (Hewitt) Time: 30 minutes Children color the animals on the pages and the animal homes on the wheel. Assemble the wheel and students can match the animals to their homes. Can be used afterward as a homework assignment.

Animal Tracks Math Game Materials: pre-made games boards (see photo attached), game pieces, regular dice and dice with four + sides and two – sides (one each per group), Big Tracks, Little Tracks (Selsam) Time: 30 minutes Read Big Tracks, Little Tracks and explain how animal tracks can help you determine what animals live in an area. Divide class into small groups. Each student puts a game piece on their animal. The students take turns rolling the

dice. The + and – determine the directions (+ forward, - backward). The first student to reach home wins the game. After the children have learned to play the game in this controlled setting, place the game at the Math Center for use during Choice Time.

Jump, Frog, Jump Activity Source: Mailbox Magazine – Kindergarten, Oct/Nov 1999, p. 25 Materials: paper lily pads programmed with letters, Jump, Frog, Jump (Kalan) Time: 20 minutes Read Jump, Frog, Jump. Spread the lily pads on the floor. On the signal to “jump, frog, jump” the children will hop to a lily pad. When all have found a pad, have each child pick up the lily pad and say the letter and letter sound. They can also say a word that begins with the letter. Repeat several times. (The lily pads can be programmed with key words, numbers, etc.)

Pond Life Crayon Relief Source: Mailbox Magazine – Kindergarten, Oct/Nov 1997, p. 41. Materials: crayons, white construction paper (12x18”), watered down blue green paint, large paint brushes, In The Small, Small Pond (Fleming) Time: 30 minutes Read In The Small, Small Pond. Give each student a piece of white construction paper. Instruct the students to color animals that live in ponds and finish with water wave marks ( ). Then using a large paint brush, apply the watered down paint over entire picture.

Habitat Lap Sit Source: Getting Wild With Physical Education, p. 38 Time: 15 minutes This activity will review the four components of a habitat and emphasize the importance of each one. (Note: The grade level for this activity is 4-9 however it says “also younger and older” so it may be too difficult for kindergarteners.)

Jello Ponds Materials: clear plastic cups, blue Jello, Swedish Fish, measuring cup, spoon, hot plate and pan Time: 1 hour Make Jello according to the package instructions and pour into the plastic cups. Refrigerate and when Jello begins to set, give each student Swedish Fish to insert into the Jello to resemble fish swimming in a pond. Eat for snack the following day.

Rice Crispy Treat Bird Nests Materials: Rice Crispies, marshmallows, margarine, jelly beans, microwave bowl, spoon, muffin tins Time: 30 minutes Make Rice Crispy Treats according to the cereal package. Let cool slightly and then give each student a large spoonful which they can press into a muffin tin. Give them 3-4 jelly beans to put on top of the Rice Crispy Treat to resemble eggs. Eat for snack the following day.

Discovery Center (water table) Materials: water table, plastic fish and other ponds animals, water smocks Time: varied depending on students level of interest Place the plastic pond animals in the water table for children to use during Choice Time.

Above or Below? Source: Mailbox Magazine – Kindergarten, Apr/May 2005, pp.30,32 Materials: white construction paper, crayons, scissors, one set of animal cards photocopied for each student (attached) Time: 30 minutes Instruct students to illustrate a picture of a tree which includes the underground portion of the roots system. Distribute the animal cards and instruct students to color and cut out the cards and then sort them between animals that live above

the ground in trees and animals that live below the ground. Glue onto the picture in the appropriate place.

Animal Books (Assessment)***

Materials: The Beaver Book, photocopied book (attached) for each child, crayons (assemble by cutting the papers in half and put in same order as The Beaver Book, Time: two 30 minute sessions Reread The Beaver Book. Give each student a blank animal book which contains the same words as The Beaver Book. Ask children to think about other animals we have learned about. Instruct them to pick one of those animals and to write the name of the animal on the cover for the book title. Then they will illustrate the book. Have each child share their book with the class upon completion.

Part 4: Caring For Animal Habitats Literature Busch, Phyllis S. Once There Was A Tree. Ohio: World Publishing Co., 1968. Chevalier, Chiara. The Secret Life of Trees. New York: DK Publishing, l999. Marzollo, Jean. Home Sweet Home. Harper Collins Pub., 1997.

Methods/ Procedures/Materials

Flannel Board Story Materials: flannel board, felt pieces of trees, forest animals, houses and other buildings Time: 20 minutes Tell the students your are going to tell them a story of a forest (put trees on flannel board). Ask them to tell you animals that may live there (add the animals to the board scattering them evenly between the trees). Some of the trees were taken down (remove trees) to build a house (add house). Ask where the animals will go. Continue until there are no trees left. Lead into a discussion about the importance of saving spaces for animal habitats.

Classroom Carrying Capacity Source: Project Wild, pp. 9-10 Time: 20 minutes This activity will help children see the importance of giving animals adequate space.

Habitat Lap Sit Source: Getting Wild With Physical Education, p. 38 Time: 15 minutes Continue playing this game which the students learned in Part 3.

Plant A Tree Materials: seedling, planting tools Time: 20 minutes Plant a tree on school grounds for children to observe as an animal habitat in future years.

Nature Hike Materials: pre-made field trip binoculars (these are prepared early in the school year for use on all field trips) Time: whole school day Take the children on a hike from Giorgetti Park to Rocky Pond to observe animal habitats in a wooded area and a pond setting.

Writing Activity Follow-Up to Nature Hike Materials: One photocopied field trip sheet for each student, crayons and pencils Time: 30 minutes Students will write their name and two things they saw on the nature hike using inventive spelling. Illustrate the two things they saw in the binocular shapes. Assemble as a class book and place in the Book Center. (The two things must be an animal or an animal habitat)

Chants and Fingerplays (to use throughout the unit) Homes Here is a nest for a robin. (cup both hands) Here is a hive for a bee. (fists together) Here is a hole for a bunny: (finger and thumb make a circle) And here is a house for me! (fingertips together to make roof)

The Owl There’s a wide-eyed owl (encircle each eye with thumb and forefinger) With a pointed nose. (direct forefingers to a point down side of nose) And two pointed ears (extend forefingers up from top of head) And claws for toes. (curve fingers like claws) He lives high in a tree. (point overhead) When he looks at you (point to another child). He flaps his wings (bend elbows and flap arms like wings) And says “whoo, whoo, whoo.”

Here Is A Bunny Here is a bunny with his ears so funny. (hold up hand with 2 fingers up for ears) And here is a hole in the ground. (Make a circle with thumb and finger using other hand) When a noise he hears he pricks up his ears, (stiffen fingers) And he jumps in his hole in the ground. (insert bunny ears into hole)

Fiction and Non-fiction books for Storytime and the Reading Center: .
Arnosky, Jim. Crinkleroots Guide To Knowing Animal Habitats. New York: Aladdin, 2000. Brett, Jan. The Mitten. New York: Scholastic Inc. 1990. Capucilli, Alyssa Satin. Good Morning Pond. New York: Scholastic, 1994. Carle, Eric. A House for a Hermit Crab. New York: Scholastic Inc., 1987. Cooper, Ann. Around the Pond. Colorado: Denver Museum of Natural History Press, 1998. Hewitt, Sally, Diane James and Sara Lynn, A First Look At Animal Homes. Two Can Publishers, 2000. Gibbons, Gail. Tell Me, Tree. Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 2002. Glaser, Linda. Wonderful Worms. New York: Scholastic Inc., 1992. Halpern, Shari. My River. New York: Scholastic Inc., 1992. Handwerker, Stephanie. A New Nest. Texas: Steck-Vaughn –Company, 1997. Hickman, Pamela and Heather Collins. A New Duck. Canada: Kids Can Press, 1999 James, Diane and Sara Lynn. Underwater. New York: Scholastic Inc., 1995. Jeunness, Gallimard. Animal Homes. Italy: Scholastic Inc., 2001. Krupinski, Loretta. Into the Woods. USA: HarperCollins Publishers, 1997. Martin, Debbie. Animal Homes. EDC Publishing, 1999. McCloskey, Robert. Make Way for Ducklings. New York: Scholastic Inc., 1969. McCloskey, Robert. Blueberries for Sal. New York: Puffin Books, 1976. Powell, Richard. Who Lives Here? Tiger Tales, 2004. San Souci, Daniel. North Country Night. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers, 1990. Sherrow, Victoria. Chipmuck At Hollow Tree Lane. New York: Scholastic Inc., 1994. Swinburne, Stephen R. Swallows In The Birdhouse. Connecticut: Millbrook Press, 1996. Waddell, Maritn. Owl Babies. New York: Scholastic Inc., 1975. Wilkes, Angela. Animal Homes. Massachusetts: Kingfisher, 2003. Woodward, John. What Lives In The Garden? New York: Scholastic Inc., 2000.

Resources Davis, Jill M. “Home, Sweet Home.” The Mailbox Magazine – Kindergarten, April/ May 2005, p. 41. Getting Wild With Physical Education. VT Fish and Wildlife Dept., 2003. Kingore, Bertie W. and Glenda M. Higbee. We Care: A Preschool Curriculum for Children Ages 2-5. Illinois: Scott, Foresman and Co., 1988. Lingelbach, Jenepher, ed. Hands On Nature. Vermont: The VT Institute of Natural Science, 1986. McLean, Cheryl and Linda Smiley. Little Readers for Little Readers Vol.2. Poor Richard’s Press, 1998. Moorman, Nancy. “A Seasonal Sampler.” (idea submitted by Andrea M. Troisi) The Mailbox Magazine – Kindergarten, Oct./Nov. 1997, p. 41. Project Learning Tree. Washington, DC: American Forest Foundation, 2000. Project Wild. Texas: Council for Environmental Education, 2001. Rhodes, Mackie. “Could You Repeat That, Please?” The Mailbox Magazine – Kindergarten, Oct./Nov. 1999, p. 25. Shedd, Warner. The Kids’ Wildlife Book. Vermont: Williamson Publishing, 1994. Wildlife Forever. Minnesota: Wildlife Forever, 1998.

The Beaver Simulation Game
Play a beaver simulation game. This can be played in the beaver area or another part of the park, preferably covered with leaf litter to make the hearing part of the game easier. Try a sample run with the "beaver" not blindfolded. The procedure is as follows:
o o o

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Students form a large circle. One student designated the beaver stands in the middle of the circle. Another student, designated the predator, is given an odor source such as a bottle of cologne. (In places where they coexist, beaver predators include bobcats, bears and coyotes. In most of Virginia now, the main predators are man and stray dogs.) All the other students are non-predators. The leader points to one of the students, either the predator or a nonpredator. The selected student walks slowly toward the beaver, pausing between steps. If the selected student is the predator, he (she) must wave the odor source in front of him/her with each step. If the beaver detects an approaching predator, it claps its hands (simulating the tail slap), and points to the predator. If the beaver has correctly located the predator, the predator must return to the circle edge. If the predator gets close enough to tag the beaver before it claps, it becomes the next beaver. If a non-predator is selected, it also slowly walks toward the beaver, but passes by without tagging it. If the beaver claps its hands as a false alarm, the non-predator becomes the next beaver. (In nature, it would be to the beaver's disadvantage to frequently signal danger and flee if there is no danger, since it might not get enough to eat or be able to perform other important tasks on land.)

Source: “Beaver Tales” A Lesson Plan from the Virginia State Parks' Your Backyard Classrooms

Name _______________________ Date _________

The Beaver There were two beavers living in the beaver lodge. The beavers had three kits. How many beavers are in the lodge now?



The ________________ by___________

I have food.

I have shelter.

I have water.

I have space.

I have a good place to live.

Animal Tracks Math Game

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