Task One - Identifying Design Problems

As you read down through task one, use the Organizer Table to assist you in identifying problems you will have to solve so you can design a habitat for an animal. Besides your organizer charts, you should also keep notes along the way as you encounter any information about what is needed to care for an animal in the wild.

Imagine living in an environment that doesn't meet your needs to survive. What if there was no way to find shelter or food? What if there was little room for you to move about? What if you are the only person living there?

Think of a possible animal for your design task. Does your animal roam over a large area? How much space does it need to meet all of its needs? How do people affect the habitat? Will you need to make laws or rules to protect it?

How does your animal get food from the environment? Water? If the animal is a predator, how will you make sure the habitat supports your animals food supply

Other people have tried to design environments to help living things survive. What did the environments in the following pictures need to keep living things alive?



Incubator - some babies are kept in incubators to keep them safe. Click the chick!


Aquarium - it takes a lot of equipment and care to set up and maintain a proper environment.

Zoos/wildlife parks - it's the people who are 'caged' in this park for their own protection. The animals are walking free. Zoo keepers  work hard to maintain the habitats.

 Task Two - Find Solutions

Use the Organizer Table to assist you to record problems and their solutions in designing an animal habitat.

In Canada, there are hundreds of animal species on the list of species at risk. Not all are endangered. Some are threatened or vulnerable. Pollution and development are the main causes that threaten habitats and the animals that live in them.  

Now that you have identified some ways that people design environments to keep things alive, it's time to look at animals in wildlife parks and animals in their natural environments. Use the organizer table to list the the problems and some possible solutions.

How do scientists use information about lions and polar bears in the wild to protect these animals in wildlife parks and zoos? What  kinds of problems do scientists have to consider when caring for animals in the wild?


Lions living in zoos and wildlife parks cannot hunt for their food. To protect and feed these lions, scientists need to know how these lions eat and behave in the wild. Scientists trying to protect lions in the wild must conserve the lions' food source. As people hunt the lions prey and destroy its habitat, it becomes harder for the lion to survive.


Polar Bears live in a cold climate in the wild. When they are moved to zoos and wildlife parks in warmer climates they can become slow and sluggish and have a hard time reproducing. Zoos and parks give polar bears places to swim to try and stay cool. To protect polar bears in the wild, scientists must conserve their environment. Imagine what happens to polar bears when oil slicks ruin waters where they hunt.

Task Three - Design and Build a Habitat

You have identified problems you will face in making sure an animal's habitat has what it needs to survive. You have also identified possible solutions to some of those problems. Now it is time to gather the materials needed to design and build your habitat. You can use clay, cardboard, or any combination of materials to build your model. Some students may prefer to use a computer graphics program for your design.

Here are some supplementary resources to assist you in selecting an animal and in designing your model:


Aquarium - Visit this link to understand more about fish habitats.

 Moose - Visit this link to understand more about moose habitats.


Elephant - Visit this link to understand more about elephant habitats.