Animal Habitat Project for Elementary Students

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Animal Project for Kids

Children LOVE animals. They love playing with them, reading about them, learning about them, and owning them. One of the units of study that we teach each year is about plant and animal life. It is one of the students' favorites each year. During this unit, I send home a project for students to do. The project is to chose an animal and replicate it's habitat. It always receives rave reviews from both the parents and the students. I place them in the hallway for parents to view during parent teacher conferences. This is a third grade project but can easily be adapted for higher grades. I provide each student with a letter to the parents explaining the project, a rubric to understand the expectations and guidelines, and a timeline in which to complete the project.


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Chosing an Animal for Your Project

There are a couple of ways that you can have your students chose an animal for their project. We usually read about the different habitats throughout the world before assigning the project. This way students have an opportunity to think about what animals interest them and which ones they are curious about. Students can choose a habitat that they like, such as the dessert, and then select an animal from that habitat. Or students can think of an animal that they would like to research and then learn about it's habitat. Either way the end result will be the same, an animal in it's accurate habitat.

Habitat Project Guidelines

Along with the parent letter, I send home information about how the project should be put together as well as some suggestions for materials that can be used. I find that the more explicit my directions and expectations are, the better the quality of projects turned in.

Directions for Model

  1. Start thinking of an animal that lives in the forest, ocean, desert, or rain forest.
  2. You will need to use a shoe box or another type of base for the model home of the animal.
  3. Wrap or cover the box with wrapping paper or construction paper.
  4. Use felt, leaves, sand, rocks, play dough, clay, colored paper or whatever you can think of to decorate the background of the habitat.
  5. Then it is time to make the animal that you chose for your habitat. You can use play dough, plastic toys, cotton balls, foam balls, pipe cleaners, etc.
  6. Place your animal in it's new home.

List of Possible Supplies Need

  • Construction paper
  • wrapping paper
  • shoe box or box of similar size
  • crayons, markers, colored pencils
  • tape, glue
  • scissors
  • cotton balls, felt, stones, sand, leaves, plastic toys
  • almost anything that you can imagine, BE CREATIVE!

I find that including a rubric eliminates any confusion by both parents and students. Everyone involved know exactly what my expectations are and they can work toward the grade that they wish to earn. It keeps the number of questions to a minimum and pushes my students to go above and beyond what they may normally create. Here is a copy of the rubric that I include with this project.

Animal Habitat Rubric

CriteriaProject Guidelines 
Points Possible 
Points Earned 
Written report with animal, general description, and the group that the animal belongs to. 
10 
 
Description of how the animal fits into its environment. (color, food it eats, body parts, etc.) 
15 
 
Report includes at least one interesting fact about the animal. 
 
Model depicts animal in an acurate habitat.
30
 
Neatness and creativity are shown.
10
 
Project is turned in on time with the rubric.
10
 
Presentation of material is given.
20
 
Total Number of Points
100
 
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Results

 No matter what your students choose for their animal or which habitat they would like to showcase, I bet that they will exceed all of your expectations.  Each year my students come up with more and more creative ways to display their projects and represent their animal in its habitat.  I also find that as they present their information, they really have internalized the information which tells me that they have really learned something.  Their classmates are always great audience members during this time because they are all so fascinated by animals.  Good luck with your projects and come back to share some results!

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Comments 11 comments

thesailor profile image

thesailor 5 years ago from Seven Seas

Very good initiative, cardelean. Your move will be able to teach children about the importance of animals in our midst; plus the guidance of their cooperative parents, too.


cardelean profile image

cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Thanks Sailor for the positive comments. Parents are definitely an important part of the educational process!


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois

Thanks for sharing. I especially appreciated the rubric. When my children were younger, those were always very helpful when they had a project to do. As a still fairly-new teacher myself, I found using a rubric clarified my expectations to my students.

Great hub, voted it up and useful!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Aww, this is a great hub. I wish I had you as a teacher when I was younger. You're awesome. Great job on the hubmob hub.


Cindy's Thoughts profile image

Cindy's Thoughts 5 years ago from The Adirondacks in Upstate NY

Very nice! Kids do love animals and I think it's great when teachers get them thinking about them in a good way. The younger the better! I bet the kids love it that you display their projects in the hall too : )


WorkinItOut profile image

WorkinItOut 5 years ago from North Carolina

I love this! I have a third grader but she hates anything artistic or building, so she wouldn't be nearly as excited as me :)


cardelean profile image

cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan Author

That is so funny. I have had MANY parents say to me that they had more fun with the project than their kids did! Thanks for stopping by and commenting WorkinItOut.


Purple Perl profile image

Purple Perl 5 years ago from Bangalore,India

Every parent and teacher needs to read this. Inculcating right thinking about animals is necessary for kids at a young age.Thanks for creating this interesting hub.Voted you up and useful.


cardelean profile image

cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan Author

I agree completely Purle Perl. Appreciate the feedback, thanks!


ahsansurhio@yahoo.com 5 years ago

i want the project for animal habitat


cardelean profile image

cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan Author

The project and rubric are all listed in the hub above. I hope that you find it useful!

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