Pond Habitats

Donna Srouji, Jennifer Persichetti

Erin Cocozzo – Cooperating Teacher

Description of Topic

            This lesson is the second lesson in a mini unit on habitats.  This lesson will define what a pond habitat is and explain what animals live in this habitat. This lesson will also discuss what a pond habitat provides for the animals that live there.  Students will learn what can harm or destroy a pond habitat.  The resources consulted for this lesson plan include the student’s and teacher’s edition of the science text, McGraw Hill Science, Habitats by Evan-Moor Publishers, and All Eyes on the Pond by Michael J. Rosen and Tom Leonard.


            Habitats are a science topic.  It is important for students to have an understanding of a pond habitat and its importance to the animals that live there so that they can help protect this part of the environment.  This lesson will also help them to have a better understanding of the world around them.

Prior Knowledge

            Students have an understanding of the world around them.  They have knowledge of what a habitat is from the previous lesson in this unit.  They may have visited a pond in the past and are familiar with the pond habitat.  They also learned in the previous lesson how humans can destroy habitats, and they may be able to apply some of that knowledge to today’s lesson. We will capture the students’ imaginations by discussing the various living creatures that can be found in a pond habitat and having them make a poster telling others how to protect a pond habitat.


            5.5 – All students will gain an understanding of the structure, characteristics and basic needs of organisms and will investigate the diversity of life.

            A:1 – Investigate the basic needs of humans and other organisms.

            B:1 – Recognize that different types of plants and animals live in different parts of the world.



            SWBAT identify a pond habitat.  This will be assessed by classroom discussion.

            SWBAT identify what organisms live in a pond and what part of the pond habitat they live in.  This will be assessed by the completion of a worksheet.

            SWBAT recognize what could harm a pond habitat.  This will be assessed by the making of a poster.

The Hook

            Students will be asked if they have ever visited a pond.  We will show the students pictures of a pond and ask if they know what types of animals live in this environment. We will ask students if they know what makes this environment unique.   We will list the information that students give on the board. 


1.      Students will be seated on the rug for the beginning of this lesson. We will use the same classroom management strategies as the cooperating teacher.  If a student is having a problem paying attention, we will speak with the student.  The teacher has set up a card system where students flip cards to different colors if they need to be reprimanded during the day.  If a student is not responding to repeated attempts to have them pay attention or stay on task, we ask the student to flip a card to the next color.  If a student stays on the color green all day, they will get a sticker from the teacher at the end of the day.

2.       We will read the book All Eyes on the Pond.  We will instruct students to listen for features of a pond habitat and what types of animals live there. After the book is read, we will ask students to move back to their desks. We will discuss the book and list the features of a pond and the animals that live there on the board so they can refer to it later in the lesson. 

3.      We will discuss what makes the pond habitat unique.  We will show the students a copy of the worksheet that we will be doing and ask them to name, looking at the worksheet, the parts of the pond habitat. We will discuss what could live in the different areas of the habitat. We will give students copies of the animals and ask them to glue the correct animal to the area of the pond habitat that it lives in.

4.      We will ask students if they can name any of the animals that were on the surface of the pond.  We will then take a large glass and fill it with water up to the brim.  We will add water until we can see the curve of the water above the container.  We will place a small piece of broom straw on the surface of the water and explain to students that the same “skin” that is supporting the piece of straw, supports the insects that walk on water. This is possible because the insect is light which allows the surface skin to hold it up.

5.      We will ask students if they could think of ways that humans might harm the pond habitat.  We will list their ideas on the board.  We will ask students what effect these changes in the pond environment would have on the animals that live there.  We will add this information to the list on the board.

6.      We will give each student a piece of poster board and ask them to show, through making a poster, one way that humans could hurt a pond habitat.  They are to write one or two sentences describing a way that humans could protect the pond habitats. 

7.      Students will share their posters with the class.

Questions and Examples

1.      “We are going to read the book All Eyes on the Pond. While we are reading this, try to listen for information about what makes a pond unique.”  “Can someone tell me what a pond habitat is?”

2.      “Does anyone know what type of water is in a pond?”  “What types of animals would live on the bank?”  What types of animals would be found on the surface skin?”  “Who would live in the open water?”  “Would we find any animals in the muddy bottom?”

3.      “Can anyone name any plants or animals that are on the surface of the pond?”  “How do you think the insects can walk on the water?”  We will compare the surface skin of a pond to a covering or saran wrap.

4.      “Can anyone tell one way that humans could harm the pond habitat?” “If a human damaged the pond habitat, what effect would the change have on the animals that live there?” “Can you tell me something that humans could do to protect the pond habitat?”

5.      “You are being given a poster board.  Look at the board and choose one way that humans could hurt the pond habitat.  You need to make a sign telling humans how to protect the pond habitats by not doing whatever it is that you feel would harm the habitat. For example if putting sugar in the pond would harm the habitat, on your poster put ‘Don’t put sugar in the pond!  Keep it clean so the animals will live!’ Then draw a picture showing what not to do.”


            We will close the lesson by having students share their posters with the class.


            There are not any students with special needs in the class.  However, there are a few students who have trouble finishing tasks on time.  For these students, we will walk around the room and verbally encourage them to finish their posters.  Early finishers will be asked to write why the animals in pond habitats could not live in another habitat.  They will also be allowed color the pictures in their booklets.

Follow-up Activities

            The follow up activity for this lesson is a lesson about ocean habitats, and the animals and plants that live there. 


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