Snug as a Bug

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In this outdoor activity, learners make models of homes that might protect small animals from the elements, then search living plants for real structures made by small animals. Learners examine what materials real animals use to make their homes, and consider the adaptations that allow animals to construct homes that really protect themfrom wind, wetness, and predators. Learners also explore whether certain animal homes damage animals' host plants. At the end of the activity, all animals are released to their "home" plants.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Model


Materials List (per group of students)

  • hand lenses
  • plastic bags
  • small paper plates
  • pairs of scissors
  • pencils
  • small handfuls of rice or birdseed
  • white glue
  • tape
  • thread
  • cotton
  • colored flagging
  • large brown shopping bags


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
      • Animals
    • Ecology
      • Biodiversity
    • Evolution
      • Evidence for Evolution
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Nature and Environment
  • Outdoor Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



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