Information for Teachers

Curriculum links

This investigation is linked to the following Grade 4 Next Generation Science Standards.

LS1.A: Structure and Function

Plants and animals have both internal and external structures that serve various functions in growth, survival, behavior, and reproduction. (4-LS1-1)

LS1.D: Information Processing

Different sense receptors are specialized for particular kinds of information, which may be then processed by the animal’s brain. Animals are able to use their perceptions and memories to guide their actions. (4-LS1-2)

ESS2.A: Earth Materials and Systems

Rainfall helps to shape the land and affects the types of living things found in a region. Water, ice, wind, living organisms, and gravity break rocks, soils, and sediments into smaller particles and move them around. (4-ESS2-1)

ESS2.E: Biogeology

Living things affect the physical characteristics of their regions. (4-ESS2-1)

How to search the internet

1 Keep your request short

Fewer words will give a more accurate search.

2 Choose exactly what you want

For example: Arctic Circle Climate

3 Use quotes

Double quotes around a set of words tell the search engine to consider those exact words in that exact order without any change. For example: “Arctic Circle Climate”

4 Use the plus sign (+)

If you add a plus sign (+) between words, the internet will search for all the words. For example: migrate+birds+whales+mammal

5 Use the minus sign (–) to say what you don’t want

Use a minus sign (–) to show words you do not want to appear in your results. For example: if you search for burrowing animals and do not want mammals in your search,  –mammals will exclude mammals. Note that you need to put a space before the minus sign for the word to be excluded.

6 Be very clear about what you don’t want

Part 1
Ask questions and define problems

As you read Animal Shelters, you may have many questions about the shelters of animals that aren’t mentioned in the book.

List your questions

  • Compare your list with questions that others have.
  • Choose a question you would like to investigate.
  • You can work alone, with a partner or in a small group.

You may want to choose one or more of these questions to investigate

Q1. Compare the shelter of a social insect (bees, ants, wasps) with another social animal, such as prairie dogs, beavers, and weaver birds.

Q2. Investigate animals that use the shelter of another animal for raising their young, or protection.

Q3. Find out about animals that share their shelter with another species.

Go to Part 2 Investigate →

Part 2

Helpful websites

You can use words like these in doing your search:



Go to Part 3 Record data →

Part 3
Record data

Find a way of recording your information that will allow you to see any patterns in the data.

Data Chart for Animal Shelters

Download Chart
Go to Part 4 Organize, analyze, and interpret data →

Part 4
Organize, analyze, and interpret data

1. Look over the information you have gathered and the patterns you have found.

How does the shelter help the animals you chose? Why do they need to do this?

2. Search for other patterns.

Do these animals always use this shelter or do they just use it for a short time? Why?

What might happen to these animals if they do not have their shelter?

3. Make notes about what you find.

Go to Part 5 Present and share →

Part 5
Present and share

Look over the information you have gathered in your investigation.

What are the most important ideas about animal shelters?

Make a chart showing the most important ideas.

Download Chart
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