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Citizenship, Ecosystems, Expository Writing


K, 1st, 2nd


Science, Social Studies, Biology, Civics


70 minutes

Regional Focus



Google Docs, Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

Ocean Habitat Changes

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
Jun 6, 2023
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This lesson introduces students to the effects of climate change on animals and their habitats. 

Step 1 - Inquire: Students observe ocean animals and their habitats using scientific observation skills. 

Step 2 - Investigate: Students identify characteristics of animal habitats and analyze how habitat changes can affect animals. 


Step 3 - Inspire: Students write a letter to a community leader explaining what humans could do to help animals adapt to change.

Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips


  • This lesson opens up a conversation to discuss climate change through the topics of animals, which younger students can understand.

  • This lesson allows students to practice using their agency and voice to make a change in their world.

  • This lesson could be extended into a larger research project on specific animals and their habitats.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students may need to review the vocabulary term habitat.

  • Students may benefit from a cause and effect lesson prior to this lesson.

  • A lesson on observational drawings and analyzing photography could be beneficial for some learners.


  • The observation and chart assignments are naturally differentiated due to the inclusion of drawings and/or words. Students can draw or write depending on their level.

  • Vocabulary word cards could be used for students who need assistance with vocabulary comprehension.

  • Student groups/partners could be picked based on ability level or mixed ability level depending on the purpose of instruction.

  • Students could complete the drawings or letters in a digital format as well.

  • These articles could be utilized to expand the non-fiction article reading component for students who are able:

Scientist Notes

This lesson allows students to understand what habitat means and how organisms interact within their range. Students would also be able to classify animals into different habitats, explore the impact of climate change on biodiversity in different ecosystems, and proffer ways to reduce these impacts. All the accompanying materials in the lesson are well-sourced, and this lesson has passed our science credibility review.


Note On Standards:

This lesson is aligned to New Jersey standards. Review the aligned standards directly in the lesson plan document and teacher slideshow.

Discover more on the New Jersey Climate Education Hub.
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