What if you could challenge your first graders to imagine saving an endangered species, learning about different global habitats along the way? With this volume in the STEM Road Map Curriculum Series, you can! Habitats Local and Far Away outlines a journey that will steer your students toward authentic problem solving while grounding them in integrated STEM disciplines. Like the other volumes in the series, this book is designed to meet the growing need to infuse real-world learning into K–12 classrooms.

This interdisciplinary, four-lesson module uses project- and problem-based learning to help students develop an action plan to encourage preservation of an endangered species. Students will work in teams to describe the habitat characteristics of a species outside their home region, explain why the species is endangered, and offer solutions about how humans might be able to support this species’ survival. In developing their plan, they will act as explorers of species locally and around the world, learning about climate, plant and animal inhabitants, and key factors affecting habitat vitality or decline.

To support this goal, students will do the following:

  • Explain that there are various types of habitats that vary with geographical location around the world
  • Identify several habitats in the U.S. and globally
  • Explain how various habitats meet animals’ basic needs
  • Identify climatic characteristics of several habitats
  • Identify humans as species that live within and in interaction with various habitats
  • Identify technological advances and tools that scientists use to learn about habitats and endangered species
  • Design and construct models to demonstrate understanding of features of various habitats (local and global) and endangered species
  • Apply their knowledge of habitat characteristics, interdependence in ecosystems, and endangered species to develop an action plan to help preserve their selected endangered species

The STEM Road Map Curriculum Series is anchored in the Next Generation Science Standards, the Common Core State Standards, and the Framework for 21st Century Learning. In-depth and flexible, Habitats Local and Far Away can be used as a whole unit or in part to meet the needs of districts, schools, and teachers who are charting a course toward an integrated STEM approach.