Science and Literary Arts – Lesson Time: 45 – 60 minutes

Target Grade

3rd – 5th Grade

Learning Engagements

  • Students can demonstrate their understanding of an animal’s habitat, physical features, and adaptations based on research.
  • Students can write a poem about an animal’s habitat, physical features, and adaptations based on research.


  • Book: Wabi Sabi (Optional) – This poetic text features a little cat that is from Kyoto Japan. In the story, she goes on an adventure to figure out the true meaning of her name, Wabi Sabi. By the end, if this Haiku poem, it is discovered that meanings and beauty can come from unexpected places.
  • Nonfiction books or resources about animals (short and suitable for quick research)
  • Laptops
  • Paper
  • Pencils


  1. Ask student(s) to think-pair-share what some questions about their favorite animal.
    • What is your favorite animal?
    • Why is that your favorite animal?
    • Where do you think your animal lives?
    • What do you think your animal looks like?
    • How do you think your animal survives?
  2. Discuss. When talking to the group/student Introduce the vocabulary terms habitat, Adaptations, Physical Features as they come up during the discussion of the questions.
  3. (optional) Read Wabi Sabi. Stop to discuss what the book is talking about to dissect the meaning of the poetic text. Discuss some of the figurative languages in the book. Focus on the poetic elements of the book and talk about them with the group.
  4. Next, explain that students will be thinking of an animal to do research to then write an animal poem about.
    • Model: Show students the format of the poem (format below). Then display an example next to the shown format of how the poem should look. Walk through each step with the reasoning behind the placement of the wording.
    • Guided Practice: With pre-given information use the example of a duck. As a class creates a quick draft together using this example. 
    • Independent practice: On their own students will are to research an animal. They may use national geographic, and other approved websites, provided will also be select nonfiction books of many different animals to help students with this assignment. Students are encouraged to organize their information using a web or graphic organizer that will make it easier to plug their information into their Animal Poems

Format of Poem

Title: What is a (animals Name)?: What is a Duck

Line 1: What the animal looks like: Duck fluffy with feathers.

Line 2: Three adjectives that describe its adaptations: webbed, light, swimmer

Line 3: Animals habitat: in the wetlands.

Line 4: repeat animal name: Duck

Bring the group back together. Allow individuals to share their poems in groups of four. (teach poem reading etiquette to do their best shot a snapping instead of clapping after a student reads)


  • Showing examples and writing out the steps for students might help them out if they are struggling
  • Also, show students how to properly do research if they are struggling with that skill as well.
  • As a challenge, students can make a second poem about their animal, but in a haiku format instead.