Our second grader has been learning about animal habitats with Nancy Larson Science. He has loved his science study this year, but learning about animals has taken his interest to a whole new level.
The curriculum has a way of presenting science that encourages the student to think and ask questions. It is designed to be used 2 days a week. That’s good, because that allows us time to dig deeper when my little man gets really curious about what we are studying.
My kids are huge animal lovers, so I knew that we would need to devote a little more time and resources to any study of animals.
For instance, in our study of animal habitats, my son sorted the animal cards that are included in the Nancy Larson Science curriculum. (I LOVE that everything is included!) He had a pile of cards for grasslands, one for forests, one for desert and a last one for water/ice habitats. As he looked at how the animals were grouped together, he noticed that many of his favorite animals all lived in the same habitat – water and ice. That prompted him to want to learn more.
Digging Deeper Into Habitat Study
Before digging any deeper into a habitat study, download our free Animal Report printable pages. They are absolutely free, and it’s an engaging and fun way for students to record and journal what they are learning as they research.
We knew we wanted to learn more about what animals lived in water and ice habitats, so we started looking for information in different places.
- Our home library. We gathered story books and non-fiction books on sharks, penguins, puffins, sea shells, ponds, sea shores, lobsters, ocean life and more. These are what we used to learn more about specific habitats and animals in our science time and gave us great reading material for our reading time.
- Public library. Need I say more?
- You Tube. We love You Tube for so many subjects.
- Habitat links
Determine What Your Student Knows Without A Test
Gathering information is great, but students need to be able to show what they have learned. Testing is one way, but a boring for a second grade boy. We like hands-on activities to explore and learn, as well as show how much we have learned.
I asked my son if he would like to create a model habitat in some way. He could have drawn it, painted it, made a diorama, sculpted it out of clay or created it any number of ways. He chose to create a type of puppet show.
Complete with a flying puffin.
In this drama, my son told us about the water and ice habitat and how even though animals might live in water they might not live in the same type of water or area of the world. He explained which animals are predators and which are prey, which animals are carnivores and which are herbivores. He passed his test.
How do you incorporate hands-on learning into your homeschool?