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Population Education


K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th


Science, Mathematics

Resource Types

  • Videos, 5 minutes, 4 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Activity - Classroom

Regional Focus


Habitat Scramble

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  • In this activity, students will act as a species trying to survive in a particular habitat and learn how changes to the habitat can affect the species that live there.
  • Students will learn about features of a habitat, carrying capacity, factors that can disturb a habitat, and how humans contribute to habitat changes.
Teaching Tips


  • The video provides detailed instructions for how to set up and implement this game. 
  • This is a fun, hands-on way for students to learn about more specific aspects of habitats. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teachers will need a circle of yarn, string, a hula hoop, or some other way of identifying the habitats for each group of 4 students within the class. 
  • Teachers will need to make a set of habitat cards for each student. Consider using scrap paper or other items like beads/dry beans/blocks/etc. for some of the cards, as they are just meant to represent air, water, food, shelter, soil, and space.


  • In order to build background knowledge, consider having students watch this short PBS video about habitat basics or this video about what a habitat is before playing the game. 
  • As an extension activity, put students into groups to have them do a deeper dive into a specific habitat using these videos on rainforests, woodlands, or oceans
  • As an independent activity to practice new learning, allow students to play this interactive media game where they match animals with their correct ecological habitats
  • After playing this game, art classes could look at this watercolor by Jill Pelto and discuss how habitat degradation is impacting forest species. 
Scientist Notes
This resource walks teacher through how to play the Habitat Game, which helps students grasp the idea of resource allocation. All species need essential habitat services to survive. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Science
    • LS1: Structures and Processes
      • K-LS1-1. Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive.
    • LS4: Biological Evolution
      • 2-LS4-1. Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.
      • 3-LS4-3. Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • SL.1.1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
      • SL.3.3 Ask and answer questions about information from a speaker, offering elaboration and detail.
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