Animals Live on Land

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SWBAT explore forest and cave habitats by closely examining earthworms.

Big Idea

How do animals survive on land habitats?

Setting the Stage

Next Generation Science Standards:

This lesson addresses 2-LS4-1: making observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats. This lesson is imperative because students learn that a habitat is a place where particular animals live.  In this lesson, students learn about caves and woodland forest habitats. They learn that living things are organisms and organisms in different habitats have different adaptations.

Science and Engineering Practices:

SP 8 addresses obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information in K–2 which builds on prior knowledge, using text, and analyzing text.  Students communicate what they learn to others about the information that they obtained from the lesson and additional research. This lesson helps students to be engaged in learning about cave and woodland forest habitats.  Students can communicate about various organisms and how they adapt in these habitats.

Building Background:

Students have prior knowledge of habitats, and they understand that plants and animals live in a particular habitat depending on its needs such as sunlight, water, food, and space. Habitats provide animals with shelter and a place to live. The students have learned about Tennessee habitats and  different land habitats: desert, rain forest, forest, and tundra.


Animals Live on Land PowerPoint

All About Earthworms lab sheet

Worm Habitat lab sheet

Group Labels

hand lens


paper plate




10 minutes

While the students are at their desks, they observe the Animals on Land PowerPointTeacher note- The first two slides focus on animals that live in a woodland forest habitat. The students learn about various animals that live on land, caves, and woodland forest, as well as how organisms adapt in those habitats because of  their characteristics. I show the students a PowerPoint to assist my visual learners.

After the PowerPoint, I discuss the following vocabulary terms: organism, adaptation, antenna, and cave. Students are shown body language for each term. In showing the students body language for each term, this helps my kinesthetic learners recall scientific terms.

I posed the following questions: What animals live in a cave?; Do you think many plants live in caves? Why or why not?; and Why do you think chipmunks need to carry many nuts?  These questions are asked to make sure that students observe the PowerPoint. Also, it permits me to check for understanding.


20 minutes

Students are placed in groups of 5. I assign the leader and I permit them to select who will record, report, manage, and measure. I assign the leader to a student that demonstrates leadership qualities. Occasionally, I will permit the other group members to select their roles. This is done so students can select a role in which they acknowledge as a strength.

At the tables, the groups are provided a paper plate, ruler, hand lens, an earthworm, and lab sheet.   Students are informed to use their four senses (touch, smell, sight, and hearing) to observe the worm.  I reassure the groups that the worm is not harmful. If students are afraid, I informed them not to touch the earthworms. We must treat the earthworm with respect and keep it safe.

Groups are informed to use the lab sheet to record their findings. The hand lens is used to observe the behavior of the earthworm.  Also, the groups are informed to measure the length of the earthworm. They are instructed to measure in centimeters. Scientists use the metric systems to record their data. This investigation helps students use their scientific process skills. It is important that students use their scientific process skills so they learn how scientists work.

I play the role as the facilitator by walking around posing questions such as: where do worms live?; how do worms change the soil?;how do they move? how do they survive? I inform the groups that worms change the soil, which helps plant grow.  Teacher note: I make sure that students understand that worms can be found in caves and in forest.  In asking the groups questions, I am checking for students understanding or misconceptions.

After the groups complete their lab sheet, the groups have a debriefing as an entire class. They share their observations with their peers. I permit the students to share their findings, so they can communicate with others. This helps to boost their oral communication skills.

Here is the Earthworms Lab Sheet-Student Work.

Observe the Junior Scientists- Worm video.



10 minutes

The students are signaled to return to their desks. Students are provided a worm habitat hand out. They are encouraged to draw a habitat for a worm. The students can focus on their worm living in a cave or forest. Worms can be located in both locations.  The students turn in the hand out, and I am checking to make sure that students draw a habitat that will help the worm survive in that particular environment.

Here is an example of the  Worm Habitat-Student Work.