Home Sweet Habitat

Rahm's Readers Summer Learning Challenge Brain Builder

Terrarium in windowAll living things have a habitat. Habitats provide animals with what they need to survive: food, water and shelter. Some habitats, such as jungles, are very big while others, such as ponds, are much smaller. Many animals often share a habitat.

What is your habitat? What other living things share your habitat? What other habitats can you think of and what animals live in them?


I See A Kookaburra!: Explore six different habitats to find out what types of animals live in each and how they survive in their environments.

Urban Roosts: Just look around you to find one or more of these 13 bird species that make their homes in the city.


  • With just a few supplies you can create your own mini-habitat or terrarium.
    1. Supplies: clean, empty clear 2-liter bottle, with cap; scissors; pebbles and soil; activated charcoal (optional); seeds or small plants; water; earthworms or other backyard bugs and plant leaves (optional)
    2. With help from an adult, cut a hole in the bottle an inch below the top edge of the label. Remove the label and cut all the way around the bottle.
    3. Add a thin layer of pebbles at the bottom for drainage and a small layer of activated charcoal to make your terrarium last longer.
    4. Add a few inches of soil. Sprinkle the seeds on top and cover with a thin layer of soil or plant a few small plants.
    5. If you plan to add bugs, place a few leaves for shelter in your habitat, then add the bugs.
    6. Add a few tablespoons of water.
    7. Use the top of the bottle to cover your habitat. Be sure the cap is on tight to keep the moisture in your terrarium.
    8. Water your plants regularly and keep them in a sunny place.
    9. Observe  and record changes in your terrarium. How are the plants growing? What do you notice about the worms or bugs?
  • Visit a zoo and look for your favorite animals habitat. Where do they get their food, water and shelter?
  • Redesign your bedroom so you could survive just in that room. What would you need to survive in this habitat?

Dig Deeper

Rahm’s Readers is in partnership with Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Schools, The Anti-Cruelty Society of Chicago, Brookfield Zoo/Chicago Zoological Society, Lincoln Park Zoo, the Museum of Science and Industry and Chicago City of Learning.

Rahm’s Readers is made possible by The James & Madeleine McMullan Foundation, Cubs Care, Comcast, Dr. Scholl Foundation, CPL Foundation Junior Board, Helen M. Harrison Foundation, Macys, Peoples Gas, Robert R. McCormick Foundation, ComEd, R.R. Donnelley, The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust, Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation, Verizon and RPM Advertising through the Chicago Public Library Foundation.

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