Students will create a model of a habitat and represent different types of energy sources that can be harvested in that specific habitat. Students will then discuss how climate change could affect the habitats they created and identify ways to preserve and protect them. 



  • Glue sticks
  • Toothpicks
  • Colored paper
  • Large pieces of cardboard 


  • Scissors
  • Play-doh/clay
  • Plastic knives
  • Colored pencils/crayons

Prep work

  • Set up a table where students can collect building materials. Spread out glue sticks, colored paper, crayons, etc. 


Part 1:

  • Lead a discussion about non-renewable and renewable resources with students. Talk about where most of these resources can be found and harvested. 
    • What are some non-renewable sources? How are they found and made?
    • What are some renewable sources? How are they found and used?
    • What renewable sources have you seen where you live?

Part 2:

    • Tell students that they will be creating a habitat and identifying different types of energy sources found specifically in their habitat.
    • Assign groups of 3-4 students a specific habitat. Examples include:
      • Forest
      • Desert
      • Wetland
      • Rainforest
      • Ocean
    • Have students use the various materials to create their habitat on a large piece of cardboard (think of it as a 3D model). 
    • An example of how this can be done: 
      • Students assigned with "desert" could create a landscape with orange and yellow paper, create cacti, Joshua trees, salt, etc. They could then add solar panels, an oil refinery, and windmills to represent sources of energy that could be harvested. Adding hydroelectric power wouldn't make sense due to that fact that deserts lack large sources of water. 

Part 3:

    • Have students present their habitat to the rest of the class. While presenting, ask each group of students: 
      • What resources, renewable or non-renwable , are available in your habitat?
      • How would gathering those resources affect your habitat? 

Wrap up:

    • Discuss how climate change could affect the habitats they created and what ways they could preserve and protect them:
      • What problems could a desert face? Water shortage, heat and cold spells, etc.
      • What problems could a forest face? Deforestation, dying wildlife, insect infestations, etc.

Thinking questions

  • How do sources of energy vary in different habitats?
  • What impacts do we have on the environment when we harvest different sources of energy?
  • How does this affect climate change?
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