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Shrinking Habitat

Share the Space

Elementary, Middle

Description

This interactive activity provides an opportunity for students to physically map out a diverse forested area in their classroom, then slowly reduce the space to simulate a loss of habitat and the impact this has on various species.

The activity begins with a brainstorming session of living and non-living things that are found in the forest. Students are then asked to consider what would happen if part of the forest disappeared.  Items from the brainstorming session are then taken and placed in the classroom to simulate a forest community.  The students will then choose a species to represent in that community.  The teacher reads the Habitat Loss Story to the class. The students then discuss how to move forward with the community planning by removing 1/3 of the trees and building a dam for 1/3 of the river.  As a wrap up to the activity the students are asked to represent graphically what happened to their species with the loss of habitat.

This resource also included extension activities to enhance the learning.

General Assessment

Recommendation of how and where to use it

This resource is geared toward upper elementary students with a focus on habitats.  It would work well to support the outcomes dealing with habitats and communities in the Science classroom. It would be interesting to invite a community planner to speak to the class as to how they approach the problem in the activity in order to provide the students with a real world context.

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

  • Step 1Select a province
  • Alberta
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Earth Systems: Understandings of the living world, Earth, and space are deepened through investigating natural systems and their interactions.
        • Exploring connections strengthens our understandings of relationships to help us make meaning of the world.
        • Investigating change and the diversity of Earth’s systems helps us to develop understandings of the conditions necessary to sustain life.
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Living Systems: Understandings of the living world, Earth, and space are deepened through investigating natural systems and their interactions
        • Trees and Forests
  • British Columbia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 4: All living things sense and respond to their environment
  • Manitoba
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Habitat and Communities
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Habitats
  • Northwest Territories
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Life Systems: Habitats & Communities
  • Nova Scotia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 4: Habitats
  • Nunavut
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Life Systems: Habitats & Communities
  • Ontario
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science & Technology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Life Systems: Habitats and Communities
  • Prince Edward Island
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Habitats
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Habitats and Communities
  • Yukon Territory
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 4: All living things sense and respond to their environment

Themes Addressed

  • Ecosystems (3)

    • Appreciating the Natural World
    • Habitat Loss
    • Wildlife Protection
  • Land Use & Natural Resources (1)

    • Forests