This overview outlines a session series with activity options to support your planning to deliver the lower Key Stage 2 programme of study Living things and their habitats. It can also facilitate the completion of the National Education Nature Park habitat mapping process 

Through the context of habitats, learners develop a deeper appreciation of the interconnectedness of living things, people and the local environment. The activities introduce the value of community science and the skills required to accurately map different habitats. Learners gain an understanding of the habitats within their school grounds, with a growing awareness of the positive and negative impacts of changes to them.  

The third session - enquire - can be planned as one or more sessions. This depends on the main habitats in your school and/or how many sessions you would like to dedicate to this enquiry. 

Unit of learning


Prior knowledge

What do we already know about habitats? 
Find out what habitats learners are familiar with already. Use this starting point to introduce the value of community science and how our knowledge and experiences can contribute to a better understanding of habitats and ways we can protect them. 


How can we identify habitats? 
Choose activities that familiarise learners with the habitats in your school site. This session can provide a good opportunity to develop the skill of identification by practicing how to use identification keys and flow charts. 


What habitats are on our school site? 
Learners map the habitats their school site currently offers for nature. This can be completed in one or more sessions, dependent on the time you have and/or the number of habitats on your school site. 

Making change

What actions can we take to help our school's habitats thrive? 
Draw on a range of activities to create a vision, consider habitat enhancements, and listen to different perspectives in order to plan ways in which school habitats can be protected and improved. 


How can promote habitat awareness and care?
Learners explore a range of communication tools to raise awareness about the habitats identified in the school grounds. They can discuss and select their top priorities for making changes to their school habitats. 

Supporting information

Although exploring habitats across the world is fascinating, this unit of learning promotes the importance of learning about and celebrating habitats across the school grounds. Learner's findings contribute important local knowledge to the National Education Nature Park, helping themselves and others understand how we can protect and enhance local habitats. 

Common misconceptions  

All changes to habitats are negative 
Some habitat changes can be beneficial. Through researching potential changes, learners can recognise and choose changes that could have positive impacts on biodiversity.

Animal adaptations happen quickly. Animals can change to adjust to their environment 
Animal adaptations do not happen quickly. Physical adaptations happen over many generations of plants and animals.

Key concepts

Biodiversity – The variety of all living things on Earth
Habitat – A place where a living thing makes its home
Characteristics -  The features or qualities that make something different from others
Classification - Putting things into groups based on its key characteristics  

Further activities and opportunities

Thoughtbox: Dormouse’s Wobbly Tree Use this story to explore ideas about habitat loss from an animal’s perspective and then complete the Nature Park activity Points of View

Learning Through Landscapes: Nest building In this activity, learners explore the role and design of a bird’s nest and consider how they could make one with natural materials, considering the needs of a particular bird species. 

Recommended books – BookTrust reviewed

Wild World by Angela McAllister (ages 5-8). A lush and evocative tribute to the 13 last wildernesses on Earth, written in free verse poetry. It is a lovely book to lull and inspire, with a gentle conservationist message.

Sounds of the Skies by Moira Butterfield (ages 6-11). This delightful, non-fiction sound book introduces birds from different habitats from around the world. Listen to the song of the Chinese nightingale, the hunting call of the mighty bald eagle, or the night time hoot of a tawny owl by pressing the highlighted circles on the page.

The Clue is in the Poo and Other Stuff Too by Andy Seed (ages 6-11). Packed full of fascinating facts and flashes of humour, this non-fiction picture book encourages children to become wildlife detectives. Ideal for any animal enthusiast, this would also be a useful addition to the classroom for use on wildlife projects.

Green careers

Learners can explore different roles that carry out scientific research and contribute to the conservation of living things and their habitats, for example Coastal researchers and Marine biologists.