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Educator Guide: Who Lives There? : Who Lives There Educator Guide

Who Lives There?

Tips to Come Prepared

Before you visit the Genovesi Environmental Study Center (GESC) with your class, review the Educator's Guide to prepare for your students.

  • Read the Essential Questions (p. 1) and Connections to Standards (p. 2) to decide how you want to link your curriculum with your field trip
  • Complete the Pre-Visit Lesson with your class activating student interest and engagement
  • Come to GESC ready to engage and learn with our experiential, hands-on field trip program, Who Lives There? 

Library Finds

Essential Questions

  • What is a living thing vs. a non-living thing?
  • What do all living things need to survive?
  • What is a habitat?
  • How does a habitat affect an animal or plant?

Our Educator Guide

Sora eBooks

Access these free ebooks by signing in to the Sora app with your NYC DOE credentials.

Who Lives There?

Hard Hitting Habitat Facts

  • Mudskippers are a group of 32 living species of amphibious fish. They can survive both in and out of water! They live in intertidal zones, where the ocean moves in and out with the tide.
  • Carnivorous plants evolved to eat insects and other living things because they live in nutrient-deficient soil.
  • Whales once lived on land! Over 50 million years ago, Pakicetus, an ancestor to modern whales and dolphins, had four legs and lived its life on land, hunting for fish and small land animals. Over time, relatives to this species were found to live entirely in water, developing fins and other characteristics to help them survive in an aquatic environment.
  • Tardigrades, also known as water bears, are microorganisms that have been found everywhere on Earth. From the ocean depths, to volcanoes, and even Antarctica, these organisms are able to survive in extreme habitats – including in experiments in outer space!
  • New York City is home to more than just squirrels, sparrows, and honey bees. Coyotes, owls, and even humpback whales call the city, and the surrounding waters, their home!

Connections to Standards


Kindergarten: Unit 3: Animals
Grade 1: Unit 1: Animal Diversity
Grade 2: Unit 2: Plant Diversity

K-LS1-1. Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive.
K-ESS2-2. Construct an argument supported by evidence for how plants and animals (including humans) can change the environment to meet their needs.
K-ESS3-1. Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants or animals (including humans) and the places they live.
K-ESS3-3. Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on living organisms and non-living things in the local environment.

First Grade
1-LS1-1. Use materials to design a solution to a human problem by mimicking how plants and/or animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs.

1-LS1-2. Read texts and use media to determine patterns in behavior of parents and offspring that help offspring survive.
1-LS3-1. Make observations to construct an evidence-based account that some young plants and animals are similar to, but not exactly like, their parents.

Second Grade
2-LS2-2. Develop a simple model that illustrates how plants and animals depend on each other for survival.
2-LS4-1. Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.