Reflection: Lesson Planning What Is A Habitat - Section 5: Writing Our Definitions


The term habitat seems to be a simple one that most second graders already know. This lesson asks students to write their definition after discussing the pictures they have chosen to represent habitats and non habitats. 

The assumption is that after an initial discussion, background knowledge, sharing of pictures and asking each other questions, everyone should have a definition of a habitat. When students started writing, I visited one student who wrote bermens. I asked him what that was and he said, "germs" I asked if germs were a habitat and he said yes. He pointed to the picture of a lion in grass that he had chosen and said, there are germs on the lion so that is the habitat. I asked, did all the other children show pictures of germs and he said yes, because they all had animals in their pictures that had germs on them. I asked, did they talk about germs? He replied no, they talked about grass and trees and water. I asked him why he thought that a habitat was germs and he said because he learned that in first grade. 

This is a great example of a preconception that was not correct. This student had a hard time moving from his misconception, to a new definition. 

I would have been wrong to assume that every child knew what a habitat was before beginning this lesson. It was important for me to check this out before proceeding with other lessons about diversity in habitats. 

I added a review of the definitions the next day. In that review we brainstormed all of the parts of a habitat. Together students came up with food, water, shelter, protection, air and space. Individually many just wrote a habitat is a home. 


  Don't Make Assumptions
  Lesson Planning: Don't Make Assumptions
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What Is A Habitat

Unit 5: Where Does It Live?
Lesson 1 of 17

Objective: SWBAT define the word habitat

Big Idea: Before discussing some of the world's habitats, it is important to understand what the term entails.

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43 teachers like this lesson
Science, forest, ecosystem, terms, discussions, survival, rainforest, habitats
  50 minutes
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