Wk. 7: Animal Needs & Roles

Week #7: Animal Needs & Roles


  • Identify animal survival needs
  • Classify animals based on habitat and visible characteristics
  • Recognize how adaptations help animals survive
  • Describe the roles of animals in a food chain


  • Learners sorted plastic animals according to their preferred habitats.
  • Learners matched plastic animals to common characteristics like ‘eats plants’ and ‘lays eggs’.
  • Learners matched plastic animals to categories of mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, and fish.
  • Learners matched colored cubes to different backgrounds as an example of camouflage as a survival adaptation.
  • Learners tested different tools to represent different bird beaks for catching and eating their food.
  • Learners constructed from craft materials a simple animal model and a habitat with shelter and food.

Questions to Discuss

  • What are three examples of a wild animal meeting its basic needs for survival?
  • What are three animals that have adaptations that help them survive in their favorite habitats?
  • What are some differences between how a domestic animal meets its needs and how a wild animal meets its needs?
  • Where do all food chains begin?
  • What is an example of two animals related by being predator and prey (who eats who?)
  • If an animal is a different color than it’s habitat, what are some other adaptations it might need to survive?
  • Why would camouflage help predators as well as prey in surviving?
  • Which tool was best for crunching hard shelled bugs for food?
  • How does your craft animal meet its needs in your craft habitat?
  • Why do you think scientists and naturalists group animals together into categories like ‘mammals’ and ‘has a backbone’ and ‘lays eggs’? What are some categories you might use to group animals together?

Things to Try at Home

  • Interview an adult who takes care of an animal. Ask them about:
    • What does their animal eat?
    • What must they do to keep their animal healthy?
    • Does their animal communicate with them? How?
    • What is the most interesting thing about their animal?
  • Find out what animals and plants make up a food chain in a habitat of your choice. Make a food chain mobile with string or construction paper and index cards for each of those animals and plants. Hang the sun at the top, plants from the sun, herbivores / consumers next, and so on to the large carnivores and the decomposers at the end.
  • Make a list of three animals found in Alberta during the winter. Find out how these animals adapt to survive the winter and share these facts through pictures or pictures to describe these changes.

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