When I moved from fourth grade to third grade and found out I had to teach Georgia habitats, I was at a complete loss. I didn't grow up in Georgia and knew very little about the plants and animals that lived there, and I had no idea how to make the unit relevant and exciting to my students. I thought about that unit all summer and finally had the idea of creating a Habitat Menu for my students. I wanted to give my students options in the activities they completed for the habitat unit, so I designed the menu of activities that gave my students a variety of choices in the type of learning activities they could complete. I began each science lesson with a brief mini lesson on the habit and then allowed my students to work at their own pace on their menu activities during their work time.
I designed my menus to look like real restaurant menus. I folded a large sheet of construction paper in half and glued the cover on the outside of the construction paper.
Then I glued the actual contents of the menu (appetizer, main course, and dessert) to the inside of the construction paper.
There are a total of nine different activities my students can choose from with three different appetizer activities, three main course activities, and three dessert activities. I give students one week to complete one activity from each category.
Students keep all of their habitat menu activities inside a habitats book that we made together. There is a cover page and then five additional pages in the books. I created the inside pages to have a pocket so that my students can keep all of their work organized.
Here is the cover page of a student's book.
This the first page of a habitat book. I used a large piece of construction paper for each page and folded the bottom third or forth up and stapled the sides together, to create a sturdy pocket.
All throughout the week, students work at their own pace research the habitats through books and online resources.
They then use that information to complete at least three activities of their choice. This is an example of a collage that one of my students created.
I've used this idea for several years now and enjoy it more and more each year! I've created a habitats menu for TpT that can be used for ANY habitat, not just Georgia. If you'd like to take a look, you can click here.
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