Welcome to the elementary school challenge page for Challenge C of the Fairchild Challenge! Read below to find challenge information, entry requirements, resources and more for the challenge.

Challenge C

Title: Habitat Handbook 

Due Date: Fri., February 16, 2024 by 5 p.m. 

For Groups or Individuals

Your Challenge:

Prepare to embark on an adventure that is all about unraveling the secrets of the animal kingdom and understanding the significance of what animals require to thrive in their unique habitats. Learn about what animals need to survive and become an expect!

In this challenge, you will select an animal of your choice and create a comprehensive "survival guide" booklet. Your guide can be in the format of a zine-like booklet or trifold pamphlet and should include hand-drawn illustrations and written or typed descriptions that delve into various aspects of the animal's life, shedding light on how it has adapted to its environment.

Your “survival guides'' should be well-rounded and include information relevant to your chosen animal. Show and explain the many ways in which your animal is able to survive in its habitat including how its physical features such as limbs, body shape, and sensory organs are specifically adapted to its habitat and way of life. Discuss its diet; why does your animal eat what it does? How are its dietary preferences related to its feeding habitats and what strategies does it use to obtain food? Think about the habitat your animal calls home and research what resources it needs to survive and thrive. How does your animal contribute to the balance of its habitat and its role as predator or prey? And lastly, include some fun and interesting facts! These could include remarkable behaviors, survival tactics, or unique adaptations that set it apart from other species.

  • 50 words or less for Prek-1 st
  • 75 words or less for 2-3 rd
  • 100 words or less for 4-5 t

Entry Requirements: Deliver to the Fairchild Challenge coordinator at Phipps in person, via certified mail, or via email to amule@phipps.conservatory.org.

  • Challenge Entry Form
  • Include the school name and the participating students’ names.
  • Zine-style booklet or trifold pamphlet with hand-drawn illustrations and typed or written text descriptions

School Submits Challenge Entry Form, maximum three entries per set of grades. 

Resources: The following list of online resources may be used when preparing your entry:

  • Grades K – 5

    K - 1st Grade

    3.1.PK.A1 Recognize the difference between living and non-living things.

    3.1.PK.A2 Identify basic needs of plants (water and light) and animals (food, air, water).

    3.1.PK.A3 Recognize that plants and animals grow and change.

    3.1.PK.A5 Name basic parts of living things.

    3.1.PK.B1 Match offspring to their parents 3.1.PK.C3 CONSTANCY AND CHANGE Describe changes that occur in animals.

    3.3.PK.A5 Identify seasons that correspond with observable conditions. Identify how weather affects daily life.

    4.1.PK.A Identify living and nonliving things in the immediate and surrounding environment.

    4.1.PK.D Identify basic needs of living things.

    4.1.PK.E Identify the change of seasons in the environment.

    4.2.PK.C Describe an aquatic (water) and terrestrial (land) habitat.

    4.4.PK.A Identify what plants and animals need to grow.

    4.4.PK.C Recognize that plants and animals grow and change.

    3.1.K.A3 Observe, compare, and describe stages of life cycles for plants and/or animals.

    3.1.K.A5 Observe and describe structures and behaviors of a variety of common animals.

    3.1.K.B1 Observe and describe how young animals resemble their parents and other animals of the same kind.

    3.1.K.C2 Describe changes animals and plants undergo throughout the seasons.

    3.1.K.C3 CONSTANCY AND CHANGE. Describe changes that occur as a result of climate.

    3.2.K.B6 ENERGY Recognize that light from the sun is an important source of energy for living and nonliving systems and some source of energy is needed for all organisms to stay alive and grow.

    4.1.K.D Observe and describe what happens to living things when needs are met.

    3.1.1.C3 CONSTANCY AND CHANGE. Describe changes that occur as a result of habitat. 4.1.1.A Identify and describe the basic needs of living things in a terrestrial habitat.

    4.1.1.C Describe a simple food chain within a terrestrial habitat.

    2nd - 3rd Grade

    3.1.2.A3 Identify similarities and differences in the life cycles of plants and animals.

    3.1.2.C2 Explain that living things can only survive if their needs are being met.

    4.1.2.A Describe how a plant or an animal is dependent on living and nonliving things in an aquatic habitat.

    4.1.2.D Identify differences in living things (color, shape, size, etc.) and describe how adaptations are important for survival. 4.1.2.E Identify how living things survive changes in their environment.

    4.4.2.C Examine life cycles of plants and animals in an aquatic habitat.

    3.1.3.A1 Describe characteristics of living things that help to identify and classify them.

    3.1.3.A2 Describe the basic needs of living things and their dependence on light, food, air, water, and shelter.

    3.1.3.A3 Illustrate how plants and animals go through predictable life cycles that include birth, growth, development, reproduction, and death.

    3.1.3.B1 Understand that plants and animals closely resemble their parents.

    3.1.3.B5 PATTERNS Identify characteristics that appear in both parents and offspring.

    3.1.3.C2 Describe animal characteristics that are necessary for survival.

    4.1.3.D Identify organisms that are dependent on one another in a given ecosystem.

    • Define habitat and explain how a change in habitat affects an organism.

    4.2.3.C Identify plants and animals that live in lakes, ponds, streams, and wetlands.

    4.4.3.C Use scientific inquiry to investigate what animals and plants need to grow


    4th - 5th Grade

    3.1.4.A1 Classify plants and animals according to the physical characteristics that they share.

    3.1.4.A2 Describe the different resources that plants and animals need to live.

    3.1.4.A5 Describe common functions living things share to help them function in a specific environment.

    3.1.4.C2 Describe plant and animal adaptations that are important to survival.

    4.1.4.A Explain how living things are dependent upon other living and nonliving things for survival.

    • Explain what happens to an organism when its food supply, access to water, shelter or space (niche / habitat) is changed.
    • Identify similarities and differences between living organisms, ranging from single-celled to multi-cellular organisms through the use of microscopes, video, and other media.

    4.1.4.D Explain how specific adaptations can help organisms survive in their environment.

    3.1.5.B1 Differentiate between inherited and acquired characteristics of plants and animals.

    3.1.5.C1 Describe how organisms meet some of their needs in an environment by using behaviors (patterns of activities) in response to information (stimuli) received from the environment.

    3.1.5.C2 Give examples of how inherited characteristics (e.g., shape of beak, length of neck, location of eyes, shape of teeth) may change over time as adaptations to changes in the environment that enable organisms to survive.

    4.1.5.A Describe the roles of producers, consumers, and decomposers within a local ecosystem.

    4.1.5.C Describe different food webs including a food web containing humans.

    4.4.5.A Explain why animal production is dependent upon plant production

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