Habitats Under Investigation
Ontario: grade 4
Quebec: elementary cycle 2
Students participating in this workshop study in detail the particularities of different habitats. Students examine clues relating to a particular habitat as represented in one diorama in our Mammal Gallery. They come to understand that habitats can vary tremendously from one part of the country to the next, and by extension, discover some of the natural diversity of Canada. The investigation leads students to formulate questions about the needs of organisms within a habitat. The clues present an ensemble of needs and/or behaviours around a particular theme, such as winter preparation, winter survival, adaptations and food chains.
Schedule and Cost
- October 1, 2013 – May 1, 2014
- Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
- Workshop starting time: 9:30 a.m., 9:45 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 10:40 a.m., 10:55 a.m., 11:10 a.m.
- And Tuesdays: 12:20 p.m., 1:00 p.m., 1:30 p.m.
- $8 per student for the workshop (tax not included)
- Second workshop on the same day: $4 per student (tax not included)
- See if your class qualifies for Nature Express, our financial-aid programme.
Specific Curriculum Links
Science and Technology
Understanding Life Systems: Habitats and Communities Developing Investigation and Communication Skills
- Use scientific inquiry/research skills to investigate ways in which plants and animals in a community depend on features of their habitat to meet important needs.
Understanding Basic Concepts
- Demonstrate an understanding of habitats as areas that provide plants and animals with the necessities of life.
- Describe structural adaptations that allow plants and animals to survive in a specific habitat.
Language Writing / Using Knowledge of Form and Style in Writing
- Use specific words and phrases to create an intended impression.
Writing / Vocabulary
- Confirm spellings and word meanings or word choice using different types of resources appropriate for the purpose.
Elementary Cycle 2
Mathematics, Science and Technology Competency 2: To make the most of scientific and technological tools, objects and procedures
- To become familiar with the roles and functions of scientific and technological tools, techniques, instruments and procedures.
Essential Knowledges / Living Things / Matter
- Characteristics of living things: classification of life forms.
Essential Knowledges / Living Things / Systems and Interaction
- Interaction between living organisms and their environment: living things and their habitats.
English Language Arts To write self-expressive, narrative and information-based
- Writing to a familiar audience (peers, family, trusted adults) in order to express meaning(s).
In this hands-on, inquiry-based workshop, students investigate the different habitats of Canadian mammals. In examining and manipulating objects relating to the dioramas, students learn about the animals' various structural and behavioural adaptations.
Role of the Teacher
- Prepare the class for the visit by researching the habitats of the following Canadian animals: American bison, muskox, North American beaver, cougar, pronghorn, thinhorn sheep, moose
- Have the students become familiar with the terms in the mammal glossary for lower grades before their visit
- Divide the class into teams
- Encourage questioning
- Observe student strategies.
Role of the Student
- Examine clues
- Use a variety of observational techniques and tools (magnifiers)
- Formulate questions
- Put forward hypotheses
- Use different types of reasoning (deduction, comparison)
- Identify plants and animals
- Write the dental formula for various mammals
- Communicate results.
- Visit different local habitats:
- Make a list of the animals and plants observed
- Observe and sketch animals and plants
- Brainstorm on small actions that could be taken to protect these habitats
- Create mini dioramas.
Natural History Notebooks. [Online]. Canadian Museum of Nature.
Short articles, photos and illustrations for more than 250 animals, notably mammals.
Information and Reservations
- 613.566.4701 / 1.800.263.4433
- TTY: 613.566.4770 / 1.866.600.8801