Designing Animal Habitats

Illustration Elements

Illustration Éléments


The class was learning about habitats and what animals need to survive. Students were encouraged to work with a partner to create a habitat for an animal of the Pacific Northwest using loose parts found in the classroom. Their habitats needed to include the features necessary for the animal’s survival (e.g., food, water, shelter, space).


Student Work

Photo of student work

Teacher Reflection

I observed:

  • Students being patient and taking turns.
  • Students thoughtfully contributing to the project.
  • Students changing their minds and explaining why.
  • Students helping one another.
  • Students being flexible and compromising.
  • A few students finding it difficult to compromise with their partner.

I heard things like:

  • Do you want to make a habitat for a rabbit?
  • Let’s use blue gems for the water.
  • What can we use for carrots?
  • Can you help me hold this?
  • I like the flowers on the tree.
  • It’s ok.  We can fix it.
  • I think it would work better with a cardboard tube.
  • Where should we put the rabbit?

In familiar situations, I cooperate with others for specific purposes.

I contribute during group activities, cooperate with others, and listen respectfully to their ideas. I can work with others for a specific purpose.


I communicate purposefully using forms and strategies I have practiced.

I participate in conversations for a variety of purposes (e.g., to connect, help, be friendly, learn/share). I listen and respond to others.  I can consider my purpose when I am choosing a form and content. I can communicate clearly about topics I know and understand well, using forms and strategies I have practiced. I gather and present basic information I need.


I can ask questions and consider options. I can use my observations, experience, and imagination to draw conclusions and make judgments.

I can ask open-ended questions, explore, and gather information. I experiment purposefully to develop options. I can contribute to and use criteria. I use observation, experience, and imagination to draw conclusions, make judgments, and ask new questions. I can describe my thinking and how it is changing.  I can establish goals individually and with others. I can connect my learning to my experiences and efforts and goals. I give and receive constructive feedback.