Before Strategy/Engage (10 minutes)
-Begin the discussion by reminding the students the definition of a habitat. A habitat is the home or environment of an animal or plant. A forest is a type of habitat.
Pose the following questions to the students: What do you know about forests? What do they look like? What do you hear? See? Smell?
-The students will discuss their responses with their turn and talk partners.
-Once the students have had time to discuss, meet again as a whole group, and ask the students to share their responses with the class.
-As a student shares, record their response in the "K" (know) column of the KWL chart.
-Once you have had several students to respond, ask the next question. "What do you want to know about forests?" As the students respond, record their questions into the "W" (Wonder) column on the KWL chart.
-After 3 to 4 responses are recorded, tell the students that they will listen to a story about forest habitats. While the teacher is reading, they are listening for new information about forests to add to the "L" (learned) column of our KWL chart.
During Strategy/Explore and Explain (45 minutes)
-Show the book A Forest Habitat by Bobbie Kalman to the students. Ask them what they see on the cover. What kind of plants and animals? Do you think this is showing a forest habitat?
-Read the title of the book and the author's name. Then, read the story to the class.
-After the book, guide the students to filling in the "L" column of the KWL chart. What animals did the book mention that lived in a forest? What other things live in a forest? What plants grow there? What is the weather like in a forest? How do animals get their food?
-Record their responses on the KWL chart.
-Next, have the students sit with their assigned partners. Give each student a zip lock bag of animal cut outs. The students will sort their animals into 2 groups: forest animals and not forest animals. As the students are sorting, walk around and monitor their sorting. Guide the students as needed. This will take about 2 to 3 minutes.
-Then, as a whole group, discuss which animals belong in the forest and which ones do not. Give the groups an opportunity to correct their sorts if needed.
-The teacher collects the sorts to be used later for construction of a habitat.
-Pass out plastic containers and spoons to assigned groups (1 per group). Tell the students that they will be building their own forest habitats using the information from the KWL chart. Take them on a nature walk around the school to look for things to include in their forest habitats such as sticks, rocks, leaves, moss, and dirt (use spoons to scoop dirt). The students will need to collect the materials and store them in their plastic containers. The habitats will be constructed in the classroom after the nature walk is complete. Allow 10-15 minutes for the nature walk.
-The students will come back to the classroom. The teacher will pass out their zip lock bag of animals. The groups will need to color their animal cut outs. After coloring the cut outs, the groups will construct their habitats using the animal cut outs and materials collected on the nature walk.
After Strategy/Explain and Elaborate (30 minutes)
-The teacher will pass out the informative fact writing paper to each student. The students will write three facts that they learned about forest habitats from today's whole group lesson about constructing a forest habitat with their partner.
**Review the writing learning targets using the anchor chart before the students begin writing.
-Next, the students will share their facts with their assigned partner. Students will critique their partner's three facts for meeting the learning targets listed on the writing anchor chart.