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Paper Plate Habitat

Goal: Students understand that every animal has habitat requirements that must be met in order for the animal to survive.

Grade Levels: 1s –8th grade

Time: 30 minutes

Audience Size: Up to 20

1.   Students will be able to define “habitat.”
2.   Students will build a habitat on a paper plate for a chosen species of wildlife.


  • One animal figurine
  • Markers, crayons, or paints with brushes
  • White paper plate
  • Construction paper of various colors
  • Pebbles
  • Mosses
  • Leaves
  • Tree figurines

Every animal, from a whale to a mouse, requires the four elements of a habitat to survive: food, water, shelter, and space. (Some biologists would also state that a suitable habitat must also contain viable mates). Every animal on earth requires a habitat to survive, the forms that the habitat takes depend on the species. Each of you will choose an animal and build a habitat for your animal. First, you will need to learn about your animals’ species to learn how your animal’s habitat will provide food, water, shelter and space.


  1. Give each student a small animal figurine and a paper plate.
  2. Once every student has his or her animal, allow them to use books, the internet, or pre-printed information cards to learn what food their animal eats, what kind of space it requires, the shelter it uses, and how it obtains water.
  3. Ask students to use various craft supplies to construct a habitat for his or her animal.

Once each animal has a habitat, ask the students to present their habitats to the group and explain how they provided the right food, water, shelter, and space for their species to survive.

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