Habits and Habitats - NV - Third Grade

Habits and Habitats
A Classrooms Unleashed Program
for Third-Grade Students

This is the best interactive and hands-on science curriculum I’ve ever seen brought into the schools.
— 3rd grade teacher from Double Diamond Elementary School

Through collaborative discussion and hands-on investigation students learn about habitats and ecosystems, survival of organisms, and patterns of environmental change. In addition to a half-day field study at one of our local parks, we provide three, 90-minute supplemental classes supporting our Habits and Habitats curriculum including lessons on Habitat Systems, Ecosystems, Organism Survival, Local Habitat Exploration, and the Cause and Effect of Changing Environments.

This unit is backwards designed from Common Core and Next Generation Science State Standards for third grade and includes pre- and post- student assessments. To supplement the lessons taught by Sierra Nevada Journeys, the teacher will also have access to our extension curriculum. The extensions include a pre-unit lesson, extension activities for the in-school and field based lessons, and a post-unit lesson to wrap up the program. 

Lessons Overview

LESSON 1: It's All Connected!

During this 90-minute classroom lesson students are introduced to the concept of systems. Students will explore how habitats are interconnected to create larger ecosystems with a variety of living and non-living factors that interact and depend on each other for survival.

LESSON 2: Coyote Hunt

During this 90-minute classroom lesson students act as “coyotes” and compete for survival amidst various environmental changes. Students will work in groups to analyze different levels of resilience and determine what facts of evidence best support their survival outcomes as coyotes.

LESSON 3: local ecosystem connections 

During this 3-hour field study students take their learning outside as they explore local ecosystem connections at a nearby park. Students act as “deer” and "squirrels"  in the field, simulating various levels of resilience from past and present local environmental changes.

LESSON 4: Make a Claim!

During this 90-minute classroom lesson students work together in teams to manage a company that builds “paper chains” using natural resources as the raw materials for their products. Students explore the concept of what it means to use these resources, and the impacts that can have on ecosystems so humans can have what they want or need.

teacher information


Common Core 

ELA: W.3.1b, SL.3.1, W.3.8, RI.3.3 

Next Generation Science Standards 

3-LS4-3: DCI: LS4.C, CC: Cause and Effect, SPE: Engage in Argument from Evidence: Construct an argument from evidence.