Introduction to Habitat Alteration
Lesson Objective
The student will be introduced to the concepts of habitat and habitat change through lecturing and guided inquiry. Attention will be
focused on identifying indicators and causes of habitat alteration.
Background Information for Teacher
The teacher will need to know the definition of habitat, habitat alteration, and disturbance.
Student Prior Knowledge
Students need a basic understanding of energy & matter flow.
Introductory powerpoint (Step 3)
Video of habitat alteration (Step 2)
Computer (projector optional to show powerpoint presentation)
Before and after photos of habitat alteration (Step 2)
Lab notebooks
Step-by-Step Guided Lesson
Step 1: Start Video
(Tips: Interact with the video by pausing, to ask questions or discuss information viewed with student.)
Step 2: Teach Lesson
Tell the student, Today you will be learning about habitats and habitat alterations.
Pose guided inquiry questions to your student that leads them to the scientific definition of habitat, habitat alteration, and disturbance.
Examples: When I say habitat what comes into your mind? How many different habitats can you think of in your
city/town/community? Is habitat alteration good or bad?
Discuss scientific definitions of habitat, habitat alteration, and disturbance by showing the powerpoint presentation in step 3(show
page 1-24 only), then pause presentation.
Show video (1 min short clip) of habitat alteration. Discuss what happened and why.
Return to powerpoint presentation(Page 25), and use it as a teaching tool so that the student can visually follow the lesson.
Tell the student, We will now be doing an activity to help you better understand the changes in habitats.
Before and After Picture Activity (images) (The steps below are also in the powerpoint presentation)
Give the student a set of before and after pictures.
Have the student identify changes that have occurred between the pictures and hypothesize the cause of the alteration. Record in
journal or on a worksheet.
Have the student share their observations and prepare a list (on board and in journal) of changes, indicators of change, and causes
of alteration.
Identify natural vs. human caused alteration in the list (overlap exists and should me mentioned).
Have a discussion/ Lecture on biological (invasive species) and physical (river channeling) indicators of habitat alteration.

Have the student determine a way to measure the degree of habitat alteration.
Have the student determine (and record) which pictured habitat underwent the most changes.
Ask the student, How do they know? Is it clear? Etc. Allow the student to respond.
Have the student complete the worksheet below for extra practice.
Step 3: Complete the worksheet attached below.
PowerPoint needed to complete the lesson
Extra Practice Worksheet
Step 4: Review: Start the next lesson with the game or activity attached below for review so the student can demonstrate
understanding of this lesson before moving forward.
Whose Home Is It? (offline) activity