What animals need to live

What animals need to live

I can describe the things animals need to live.

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What animals need to live

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Students will learn that animals need certain things to live: water, food, shelter (a place to live/home), and air. The lesson includes numerous interactive activities including an “I spy…” game and a printable worksheet!


K-LS1-1; K-ESS3-1; K-ESS2-2; 1-LS1-1

Learning Objective

Students will be able to list the four things animals need to live.


Students will be asked to imagine that they are stranded on a deserted island. If you could only bring three items, what would they be? Why did they choose those items? Students can discuss it with a partner. Ask if any other their choices would help them survive on the island. Explain that just as we have things we need to survive, so do animals. Describe each of the four things animals need to live.


Explain that water is important for animals’ bodies and food provides necessary nutrients to help animals grow. Ask students what certain animals eat. Explain that animals also need shelter for protection. Ask students how their home protects them. Also, look at the images on the board. What kinds of animals live in these different homes? Next, students drag the pictures to match with the correct words naming what an animal needs. Then discuss what a dog might need to live. Have students drag to sort the items into the two categories: “Doesn’t Need” and “Does Need.” After this, students circle the item that they think the animal needs more. For example, a horse would not drink a soda, but it would drink water. Finally, play a fun game of “I spy…” and try to find everything the frog needs in the picture by dragging the magnifying glass. Slide the image to reveal answers!


Students respond to ten multiple-choice and true/false questions. They will be shown pictures of different animals and they will determine the animals’ needs. For example, a sea turtle would survive best in the water and not in a birdhouse.


Students will draw a picture of an animal and then draw and label the four things their chosen animal needs to live in the boxes.

Instruction materials

There is an optional printable worksheet for the closing activity.

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