Living Things and Their Habitats

Science Year 1/2 Habitats and Homes

Make a playground allotment complete with edible plants and bird scaring sculptures. Weed and tend the allotment; visit a farm; and explore farming with small world play. In groups, design a bug hotel and build it.

Session 1 Playground allotment

Objectives

Take large tubs and tyres into the playground and plant edible plants! Learn about the right conditions for growth and attracting the right mini-beasts to the allotment.

Science Objectives
i) Explore and compare the differences between things that are living, dead, and things that have never been alive.
ii) Identify that most living things live in habitats to which they are suited and describe how different habitats provide for the basic needs of different kinds of animals and plants, and how they depend on each other.

Working Scientifically

  1. Ask simple questions and recognise that they can be answered in different ways.
  2. Observe closely, using simple equipment.
  3. Identify and classify.
  4. Use their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • ‘Bird scarers’ resource

Additional Resources

  • Tyres or large tubs
  • Compost
  • Gloves and trowels for children
  • Sketch books
  • Clipboards
  • Strips of plastic (milk bottle) and permanent markers for labels
  • Young allotment/salad vegetables and flowering plants
  • Sticks and string
  • Old forks/spoons, CDs and musical instruments
  • Pieces of smooth metal

Weblinks
Tips for designing a children's allotment from www.nsalg.org.uk

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Design and plan an allotment together (Yr1).
  • Make bird scaring sculptures with found and recycled materials.
  • Understand that allotments are habitats and that gardeners attract some mini-beasts to adopt their allotments as their habitats.
  • Understand that growing conditions need to be right for plants to grow and what those conditions are (Yr2).

Activities

  1. Create an allotment in the playground and plant edible plants.
  2. Make bird scaring sculptures with found and recycled materials.
  3. Understand that growing conditions need to be right for plants to grow.

Investigation - exploring, problem solving, researching and analysing secondary sources
Understand that allotments are habitats and that gardeners attract some mini-beasts to adopt their allotments as their habitats.
Year 1 - Design and plan an allotment together.
Year 2 - Understand that growing conditions need to be right for plants to grow and what those conditions are.

Vocabulary
Growth, germination, planting, edible, mini-beasts, habitats

Session 2 Micro-habitats

Objectives

Tend to the allotment and review the plant growth. Are there any mini-beasts the allotment habitat would benefit from? How will you attract them? Make micro-habitats to encourage them to live in the allotment.

Science Objectives
i) Explore and compare the differences between things that are living, dead, and things that have never been alive.
ii) Identify that most living things live in habitats to which they are suited and describe how different habitats provide for the basic needs of different kinds of animals and plants, and how they depend on each other.

Working Scientifically

  1. Ask simple questions and recognise that they can be answered in different ways.
  2. Observe closely, using simple equipment.
  3. Identify and classify.
  4. Use their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions.

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Observe the allotment, paying close attention to the living things that can be found there.
  • Consider why they are there and how they are surviving.
  • Consider how to create micro-habitats to encourage these mini-beasts.
  • Understand that different habitats provide for the basic needs of different kinds mini-beasts and plants and that they depend on each other (Yr2).
  • Make micro-habitats to encourage certain mini-beasts. Create the right conditions to attract those specific living things (Yr2).

Activities

  1. Understand what needs consideration when creating micro-habitats.
  2. Understand that different habitats provide for the basic needs of different kinds of mini-beasts and plants and that they depend on each other (Yr2).
  3. Make micro-habitats to encourage certain mini-beasts and create the right conditions to attract those specific living things (Yr2).

Investigation
Observe the allotment, paying close attention to the living things that can be found there. Consider why they are there.
Year 1 - Consider how to create micro-habitats to encourage these mini-beasts.
Year 2 - Understand that different habitats provide for the basic needs of different kinds mini-beasts and plants and that they depend on each other. Make micro-habitats to encourage certain mini-beasts. Create the right conditions to attract those specific living things.

Vocabulary
Growth, germination, planting, edible, mini-beasts, habitats

Session 3 Farming

Objectives

Find out more about farming first hand and play farms in the classroom. Understand why farms are so important to the food chain and why farmers think protecting the environment is so important.

Science Objectives
i) Explore and compare the differences between things that are living, dead, and things that have never been alive.
ii) Identify that most living things live in habitats to which they are suited and describe how different habitats provide for the basic needs of different kinds of animals and plants, and how they depend on each other.

Working Scientifically

  1. Ask simple questions and recognise that they can be answered in different ways.
  2. Observe closely, using simple equipment.
  3. Identify and classify.
  4. Use their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • 'Visiting a Farm' resource
  • Pairs game

Additional Resources

  • Photocopies of a local map (make sure it includes a farm)
  • Small world farm toys
  • Tuff tray
  • Several sets of wellies, overalls and hats for farmer role play
  • Green apron, doctor's kit and bandages for vet role play
  • Egg boxes and plastic foods
  • Bags
  • Telephone
  • Order pad and price lists
  • Till and money
  • What the Ladybird Heard by Julia Donaldson

Weblinks
Down on the farm from www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies
Woolly and Tig from www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies
Big Barn Farm from www.bbc.co.uk

CBeebies programmes about life on a farm

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Look at a map of the area and identify any farm nearby.
  • Visit a farm or have a farmer visit the school. Understand the jobs a farmer has to do and why.
  • Understand the role farms play in the food chain and why they are important.
  • Play farms in small world play and set up a role-play farm in the classroom.

Activities

  1. Become familiar with a farm near the location of their school.
  2. Begin to understand farming by visiting a farm or having a farmer visit the school.
  3. Undertake several role-plays of different jobs associated with farming.

Investigation - exploring, pattern seeking
Visit a farm or have a farmer visit the school. Understand the jobs a farmer has to do and why. Understand the role farms play in the food chain and why they are important.
Year 1 - Play farms in small world play and set up a role-play farm in the classroom.
Year 2 - Weed and tend to the allotment, understanding why the weeds need to be pulled out. Identify the weeds. Make flap pictures of micro-habitats and the min-beasts.

Vocabulary
Growth, germination, planting, edible, mini-beasts, habitats

Session 4 Designing a bug hotel

Objectives

Drawing on your knowledge of habitats, design a bug hotel! Incorporate many different micro-habitats to encourage a variety of guests.

Science Objectives
i) Explore and compare the differences between things that are living, dead, and things that have never been alive.
ii) Identify that most living things live in habitats to which they are suited and describe how different habitats provide for the basic needs of different kinds of animals and plants, and how they depend on each other.

Working Scientifically

  1. Ask simple questions and recognise that they can be answered in different ways.
  2. Observe closely, using simple equipment.
  3. Identify and classify.
  4. Use their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions.

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Understand that creating different micro-habitats will encourage a variety of creatures.
  • Understand that some invertebrates like cool, damp conditions and some prefer the sun, so the bug hotel will need to be located to incorporate both conditions.
  • Research the making of bug hotels, the type of habitats included in them and what they might attract.
  • In groups, design a layer of the bug hotel, incorporating specific micro-habitats agreed for that group by the class.

Activities

  1. Understand that creating different micro-habitats will encourage a variety of creatures.
  2. Understand that some invertebrates like cool, damp conditions and some prefer the sun, so the bug hotel will need to be located to incorporate both conditions.
  3. In groups, design a layer of the bug hotel, incorporating specific micro-habitats agreed for that group by the class.

Investigation - problem solving
Year 1/2 - In groups, design a layer of a bug hotel, incorporating specific micro-habitats agreed for that group by the class.

Vocabulary
Growth, germination, planting, edible, mini-beasts, habitats

Session 5 Make a bug hotel

Objectives

Using the group designs, build a bug hotel in the school grounds. Create micro-habitats layers using found materials such as sticks, leaves, tubes or moss.

Science Objectives
i) Identify that most living things live in habitats to which they are suited and describe how different habitats provide for the basic needs of different kinds of animals and plants, and how they depend on each other.

Working Scientifically

  1. Ask simple questions and recognise that they can be answered in different ways.
  2. Use their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions.

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Build a bug hotel according to the group designs.
  • Predict what each micro-habitat will attract and annotate the photographs with these predictions.
  • Observe over time what happens to the bug hotel.
  • Evaluate their micro-habitat.

Activities

  1. Build a bug hotel according to the group designs
  2. Predict what each micro-habitat will attract and observe over time
  3. Consider evaluative questions such as: do any of the micro-habitats need adapting? Are they being successful? How do we know? Does the weather or do the seasons make a difference to the occupancy of the bug hotel? Do we predict it will be more or less popular when it is raining? Or in the summer?

Investigation - seeking patterns
Predict what each micro-habitat will attract and annotate the photographs with these predictions.
Year 1 - Observe over time what happens to the bug hotel.
Year 2 - Evaluate their micro-habitat.

Vocabulary
Growth, germination, planting, edible, mini-beasts, habitats

Session 6 Harvest the spoils

Objectives

Harvest the edible foods you have been growing in the allotment. Study, smell and feel them before turning them into a class snack!

Science Objectives
i) Identify that most living things live in habitats to which they are suited and describe how different habitats provide for the basic needs of different kinds of animals and plants, and how they depend on each other

Working Scientifically

  1. Asking simple questions and recognising that they can be answered in different ways
  2. Using their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Harvest the edible foods grown in the allotments and study them carefully, photographing and sketching them.
  • Eat the edible foods in a class snack and review their gardening skills.

Activities

  1. Observe and harvest the edible foods grown in the allotments
  2. Study them carefully, photographing and sketching them
  3. Understand how the foods stayed healthy (or not) by discussing their gardening together as a class

Investigation
Year 1/2 - Harvest the edible foods grown in the allotments and study them carefully, photographing and sketching them. Eat the edible foods in a class snack and review their gardening skills.

Vocabulary
Harvest, grow, allotment, produce, soil, wash, cook