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I am a 1st grade teacher and we are beginning our animal study. I would like to include an at home project in which the students (and parents) would create shoe-box habitats for reptiles. Has anybody done this project and would be willing to share rubrics or ideas?
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I am also curious as to why you chose reptiles. Have you only been learning about reptiles up to this point? Having your students create shoebox habitats seems like a wonderful idea! I hope it turns out well for you!
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unfortunately, I do not have any ideas, but I think that your project will be fantastic.
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It sounds interesting and I would like to know how the students would do the activities.
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Hi! I have observed a teacher who had done this with her students as well. Any particular reason why you want it on reptiles? For this class it was a kind of "final" project after they learned all the habitats. They got to pick their favorite habitat and had to have at least one animal and one plant that was associated with that habitat. They also had to write a few (2-4)sentences to go along with their display.
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This sounds like a great idea, I can't wait to try it!
Erica lynn Ramirez
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That sounds great and creative for students to be allowed to create their own habitats.
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This is a very common project. You can get lots of help with a quick google search
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I also recommend you try google. It has many resources as well as examples you can show your students to get them on the right track. Does it have to be reptiles? I think it would be wonderful to explore different habitats and have students create different ones for display.
I have found a rubric from a teacher who did this project. You can change it up or add some components that you think are important.
Rubric link http://www.currentlearner.com/habitat/assess/habitatshoeboxrubric.pdf
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Thanks for all the good suggestions. Yes, it has to be reptiles because our 1st grade team divided up the animal kingdom for the project and my class will be focused on reptiles. I found lots of good pictures on google but was looking for more specific directions to provide to our parents. As most of our families speak Spanish at home, I will have to have the info translated, so I was looking for specific directions.
The following websites might be of help for you.
Hope they help.
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Hi Shelia -
I have never thought about have the students make a habitat at home. That sounds interesting. Would you provide the reptile to send home with the student? The student and parents can bring the shoebox to school, and you can give them the reptile. What animals would you use for your project? Sorry I don't have any answers for you. It sounds like an interesting project for families to get involved in, too.
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I also believe that the following websites might provide you grateful ideas:
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This is really creative web resources and it gave me a lot of ideas to do with the shoebox project.
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I have never personally completed this project but I know it is a common one and works well!You can look up great ideas online (:
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There are many different ways in which this activity can be done. There is also a website, pinterest.com, where you could get many ideas on activities to do with kids involving animal habitats. Some ideas that teachers have are to make each student, or multiple students, do a different habitat. That way students can learn about all the different habitats and not everyone will do the same one.
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As much as I love the idea of this project, I would need to ask a few questions. First off, are we talking about habitats for live animals? I think we need to be very cognizant of our treatment of live specimens both in the classroom, and once the project is over. If the animals are to go home with the students, do you have parental permission? Is there a step in your project design where you verify that the design does not allow the critter to escape. Who provides the animals?
We did a genetics experiment with mice with first and eighth graders (a cooperative project) and as hard as we tried, there were a few that got away. We also had to deal with death (even cannibalism) and that might be difficult at the first grade level. Also, we need to instill a respect of other species - even reptiles - in our students.
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This project was NOT intended to use with live animals! It was only to be used to give students an idea of the types of habitats in which these animals could live. All classes studied all types of animals, but each homeroom designed habitats for specific ones, and my class was assigned reptiles. We used plastic animals, not live ones.
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I've seen this done in my school. I know you are looking for just reptiles I believe, but they had students each do a different habitat. They came out very nicely, they had plastic figures in them and creatively figured out different ways to incorpertate features like snow (styrofoam). They then had them write a brief description about their habitat. They were very nice and really took their time with them.
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I have done this project and it went great! We made sure to review animals and different habitats prior and each students was able to select and animal to study. It was a GT class, so they were able to pick 2 animals and create a new species. They then made their habitat at home for their new species and presented to the class. They had to explain which animals they combined, what habitat they chose and why.
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These are great ideas! Thanks for sharing!
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Here's a rubric.
I hope it helps.
All the best-
AnimalHabitatRubric.docx (0.01 Mb)
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Your rubric was perfect! Thank you so much for sharing it. I will use your format to create a similar one for the next time I do this project, because it has the right amount of detail for students and their parents to help with this project.
I really like this rubric for the animal habitat. I am most definitely going to use through my career.
I think this is a great activity to do with the students. It lets them be creative while learning about animals and their habitats. It’s great that you want the parents to get involved too. I would definitely encourage the kids to think about the landscape of their habitat, weather, and the diet of their animals. Once completing their show-box dioramas, they could write a short story about their animal or create a “Fun Facts” sheet that way they are still extending their writing skills. The rubric that Naomi Beverly provided on this thread was great as well. I intend on using it if I ever do this activity. Good luck, and I hope it goes/or went well!
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Christina, I love your extensions to this activity! Since we teach weather in 1st grade that is an excellent tie-in. And if it was done near the end of the school year they would be able to do the writing element as well. This could really be a great end-of-year summative project.
Since you are having parents and children work together on this project, you are certain that all of them will have the opportunity to do so? I love the idea of the habitat for a project but that usually involves money and time that some parents may not have which won't benefit the student. What about an in class project? And all students have the same chance of creating something of their own.
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This is a great idea.
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Sounds very interesting and fund to allow the parents to participate.
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I dont have any personal experience with this but it sounds creative so you have to be careful with the rubric. Make sure the students and parents have seen and know what the expectations are ahead of time and be as clear as possible.
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I recently taught a lesson about living and non-living things, this would be a great follow-up of transition idea.
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It really sound a good Idea why you don't try it out. I believed kids will have fund with the activity.
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Hi Sheila! This sounds like a great and fun project! I love that it is party of a larger animal kingdom project. There were a lot of great suggestions and resources provided on this post and I would love to include these to a future lesson plan I would like to perform. I believe that providing students with diverse ways to demonstrate learning is very important! Thank you for this post!
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