Habitat Designers

Grade Level: 3-5

Description: Scientists at the aquarium have a big job designing habitats for the thousands of animals here. Your students will investigate with our staff members what it takes to design a habitat. Then, working in small groups, students will explore the exhibits and design their own habitat using a tablet app. After the field trip, you will receive an electronic copy of your students’ work.

Missions 1 and 2 are required to familiarize you and your students with the experience you’ll have at Shedd Aquarium. Missions 3 to 5 are suggested because we think they-re great ways to prepare students to get the most out of their field trip. We have also included post-trip activities for use in your classroom.

Continue to Mission 1 -->

This project was made possible in part by the Institute for Museum and Library Services.
Institute of Museum and Library Services

NGSS Standard

3-LS3-2. Use evidence to support the explanation that traits can be influenced by the environment.

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
Constructing explanations and designing solutions in 3–5 builds on K–2 experiences and progresses to the use of evidence in constructing explanations that specify variables that describe and predict phenomena and in designing multiple solutions to design problems.

- Use evidence (e.g., observations, patterns) to support an explanation. (3-LS3-2)
- Use evidence (e.g., observations, patterns) to construct an explanation. (3-LS4-2)

Common Core Connection: ELA/Literacy
RI.3.1 Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers. (3-LS3-1), (3-LS3-2), (3-LS4-2)

Teacher Information

Where: Please meet us in the Aquatic Education Center (AEC) hallway. After a brief orientation and activity, students will explore the galleries while completing an activity.

What: During this experience, students will learn what it takes to design an animal habitat at the aquarium. They will study animals, make observations and document common animal behaviors. They will make predictions about how animals will use items introduced into a habitat.

You can prepare students for the activity by making sure that they understand the following concepts.
- What makes up a habitat?
- What do animals need to survive?
- Are all habitats alike? 

Tips for Success

Please be sure to have students divided into groups before you arrive.before your field trip. We find that the activity works best in groups of three to five, but we understand that your group sizes may vary. 

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