Get children in the "habit" of investigating the world around them with this animal habitat activity.
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2
- chart paper and markers
- brown or white craft paper
- markers, tempera paint, brushes
- construction paper tissue paper fabric scraps
- child safety scissors
- white craft glue
- books and magazines depicting different animal habitats
- world map or globe
Children will create murals depicting animal habitats to encourage the development of science, geography, creative-thinking, and social skills.
1. Collect a variety of books and magazines that depict different types of environments where animals live, such as jungle, rainforest, and desert. Tell children that they will learn about places, or habitats, where animals live. Ask children to share what they know about the places animals live and record their information on chart papers.
2. Over the course of a week, spend time reading books with children about different animal habitats. Engage children in discussions about the types of animals that are found in each place, how they are fed or find food, the weather conditions, and so on.
3. Explain to children that they will work together in small groups to create murals that depict different types of animal habitats. Invite them to choose a few animal habitats. Divide children into groups with similar interests.
4. Spend time with each group discussing the habitats they are going to depict. Encourage children to plan their mural design and to determine the things that each will be responsible for including. Provide a variety of art supplies to foster children's creativity.
5. Assist each group in developing a language experience chart to accompany their mural. Invite children to share the specific animal habitat information that they learned. Exhibit each group's work and celebrate their accomplishments with a special treat of animal crackers.
Literacy: Animal Folklore. Read children animal folktales such as Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears by Verna Aardema or How the Leopard Got Its Spots: 3 Tales From Around the World by Justine Korman Fontes. Invite children to create a "folktale" about an animal of their choosing. Assist children in writing their folktales. Combine all the children's stories to create a class folktale anthology.