Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"Design" a Habitat

Check out this great interactive from Switcheroo Zoo that allows kids to not so much "design" a habitat but make choices and receive feedback on elements such as preciptation and vegetation.  The site approaches the activity with humor, as the creatures' thought bubbles let you know what they think about changes in the habitat.

Language Lens:

  • Curriculum concepts around habitat and adaptations are abstract in nature and difficult for students to grasp; this site visualizes a lot of that content and puts choices in their hands.
  • The categorical approach to the interaction (precipitation, temperature, vegetation, biome) lends itself well to developing descriptive schema about this topic, and perhaps charting results on a graphic organizer.


  1. Ok, so this is slightly unrelated, but I found the Switcheroo Zoo activity with the animal making on this website. I'm not sure if you featured that one yet, but it's great! I had a group of kids going to the zoo on a field trip, so we read "The Mixed Up Chameleon" with a focus on the animals as characters, as that is where we are with using story grammar marker. We described how the chameleon changed, talking about the parts of the animals and what they help the animal do (e.g., having a long giraffe neck makes it see/reach high things). Then we went on the website and made different animals, talking about the fact that if a cheetah had a pig head, then it would oink and not growl, if it had fins, it would swim instead of running fast. We focused on conditional and causal phrases. At the end, they wrote a sentence with a sentence starter - "If I were a mix of two animals I would be a ______ and a _______ because..." and drew a picture of their pretend animal. It worked out really well, so thanks for the link!!!

  2. Hey there, GREAT, thanks. I'd like to repost this as an actual post, 'cause people won't know to see it here!!

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