Publications & Research

Document Type

Conference Paper/Presentation

Publication Date

Fall 2017


Curriculum and Instruction | Early Childhood Education | Education | Educational Methods | Elementary Education | Elementary Education and Teaching | Pre-Elementary, Early Childhood, Kindergarten Teacher Education | Science and Mathematics Education


This series of activities invites students to explore animals and their habitats, classify “animal” figures by habitat, sort, represent, and analyze data. In the first activity, the picture book Listen to Our World by Bill Martin, Jr. and Michael Sampson will be used to discuss eleven different animals and their habitats. Questioning strategies will focus on student comprehension and inferential reasoning skills related to why each animal lives in a particular type of habitat. This book is utilized at all grade levels to introduce the subsequent activity.

The grade-level activities that follow integrate students’ knowledge of animals and their habitats with classification and data analysis activities. Students will be expected to use data representations to answer mathematical questions developmentally appropriate for their grade. In the kindergarten activity, the focus will be on classifying animal figures into preferred habitats. Students will work together to assemble a class pictograph of their animals, and will use counting and comparing strategies to make sense of this representation. The first-grade activity extends the sorting of the figures into student-generated categories and formally introduces the mathematical relations “greater than”, “less than”, and “equal to” for comparison of data. The second-grade activity uses a constructed bar graph to reason within, between, and beyond the data collected after sorting the animal figures into habitat categories. Two turtle figures will be used to make comparisons and determine which habitat is most appropriate for each turtle based upon observed differences. As a formative assessment, students can match the animals that were introduced in the book to their habitat using a set of animal cards and habitat cards. Using habitat images, students can make inferences about how the habitat can provide basic needs for the animal that lives in the habitat. Students may also suggest additional animals that may live in a particular habitat.

An extension activity for older students uses locations given in the book to map the animal’s habitat on a world map and use this “infographic” to answer questions. The focus of this activity is to use knowledge of latitude, longitude, and relative temperature on Earth to make inferences about the habitats of the animals in the story.


Presented at:

NCTM Regional Meeting, Fall 2017

NCTM Annual Meeting, Spring 2018

Animal Cards with images.pdf (3197 kB)
Resource for Grade K

Habitat Identification Signs.pdf (584 kB)
Resource fo Grades K-1

Habitat Placemat_K1.pdf (755 kB)
Resource for Grades K-1

Number Tiles.pdf (112 kB)
Resource for Grade 1

Bar Graph Placemat.pdf (349 kB)
Resource for Grade 2

Habitat Matching Cards.pdf (1444 kB)
Resource for Grade 2



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