Objective: Students will learn about aquatic habitat by constructing sentences with information about the plants and animals in the environment.

Materials: Aquatic habitat word blocks (2 of each sentence), magnetic tape or poster tac

Background: A body of water where organisms live is called an aquatic habitat. One type of aquatic habitat is fresh water habitat. Ponds, lakes and streams are freshwater habitats. Many kinds of plants are found in or near the water. Cattails may grow at the water's edge. The roots of water lilies anchor at the bottom, while their leaves and flowers float on top of the water. Other plants live under the water. Other plants live under the water.

Aquatic animals need oxygen. A few aquatic animals breathe with lungs. Most aquatic animals, however, have gills to take the oxygen they need from the water. Many animals in the water move around to find food and to get away from predators. Other animals attach themselves to objects in the water and collect their food as it floats past. Some animals that live in or near freshwater are fish, such as bass and trout; birds, such as ducks and geese, insects, such as dragonflies and mosquitoes; amphibians, such as frogs and toads; and reptiles, such as turtles and snakes.

Procedure:
Write the sentences below on a sheet of colored paper. Make 2 of each sentence, each copied on a different color paper. In the Lakes and Streams trunk, sentences are already printed and laminated.

Cut them up (separating the words) and put magnetic tape or poster tac on the back to enable them to stick to the chalkboard.

Divide the class into six or eight teams.

Let two teams come to the chalkboard at the same time. Have both teams face the classroom.

At a given time, the two teams turn to the board. Each will arrange the mixed-up blocks to form a sentence. Both teams should have the same sentence.

The winner is the team that finishes first. Let the teams compete with the winner of each round competing against the next team. The game is complete when all the sentences have been arranged.

Sentences: (these are suggested for this activity. Feel free to add to the list for more challenges!)

Water lily is an aquatic plant.

Water beetles, dragonflies, and water scorpions are insects.

A turtle is a reptile.

Frogs, toads, and salamanders are amphibians.

Raccoons, minks, and beavers are mammals.

Bass, perch and sunfish are fish found in ponds.

A goose and a heron are known as waterfowl.

An otter is a mammal that swims and plays in the river.

Cattail plants are sometimes found along the edge of a river.

Weeping willow trees help prevent soil erosion on river banks.

Some small animals live in the bottom of the pond.

Beaver build their dams in streams and rivers.

Some freshwater snakes bury their eggs on the shore.

A lake is a body of water completely surrounded by land.

Extensions:
Invite a representative from Game, Fish and Parks or the US Fish and Wildlife Service to visit your classroom. Ask that they bring a few wildlife mounts to display in the class and for discussion concerning habitat.

Take a field trip to the local wetland area. Complete some of the activities from the Wetlands To Go trunks that you can borrow from the Big Sioux Water Festival at no cost.

Activity adapted from The Watersource Book
Grade Level:
4-6

Subject Areas:
Reading

SD Standards for 4th grade:
Reading
4.R.1.1; 4.R.1.2; 4.R.2.1; 4.R.2.2; 4.R.3.2

Setting:
Classroom

Skills:
Observation, Inference

Prior Preparation: Students should complete "Living in Water" from teh Watersource Book. Another suggested activity is "Water Address" from National Project WET's Curriculum & Activity Guide

Vocabulary:
None
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