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Learning Resource Type

Classroom Resource

Cats and Their Coats

Subject Area



K, 1


In this lesson, students explore what lions, tigers, and leopards look like and analyze how the animals' coats help them survive in their different habitats. The students will discuss different big cats and their physical features, discuss the habitats of big cats, and how they survive in their habitat. 

    Science (2015) Grade(s): KG


    Distinguish between living and nonliving things and verify what living things need to survive (e.g., animals needing food, water, and air; plants needing nutrients, water, sunlight, and air).

    Unpacked Content



    • Distinguish
    • Living
    • Nonliving
    • Verify
    • Need
    • Survive
    • Animals
    • Plants
    • Nutrients
    • Water
    • Sunlight
    • Air
    • Food


    Students know:
    • All animals need food, water, and air in order to survive.
    • Animals obtain their food from plants and other animals.
    • Plants need water, light and air to survive.


    Students are able to:
    • Distinguish between living (including humans) and nonliving things.
    • Verify what living things, including plants and animals, need to survive.


    Students understand that:
    • Patterns in the natural world can be observed and used as evidence when distinguishing between living and nonliving things and determining the needs of living things.

    Scientific and Engineering Practices

    Analyzing and Interpreting Data

    Crosscutting Concepts

    Science (2015) Grade(s): 1


    Design a solution to a human problem by using materials to imitate how plants and/or animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs (e.g., outerwear imitating animal furs for insulation, gear mimicking tree bark or shells for protection).

    Unpacked Content



    • materials
    • design
    • solution
    • human problem
    • imitate
    • external parts
    • survive
    • needs
    • insulation
    • mimicry
    • camouflage
    • protection
    • ask
    • plan
    • imagine
    • create
    • improve


    Students know:
    • How plants use their external parts to survive, grow and meet their needs.
    • How animals use their external parts to survive, grow and meet their needs.
    • People can imitate how plants and animals survive and grow to help us solve a human problem.


    Students are able to:
    • Design a device that attempts to solve a human problem.
    • Use materials to imitate external structures of plants and animals.


    Students understand that:
    • The shape and stability of structures of natural and designed objects are related to their function.

    Scientific and Engineering Practices

    Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

    Crosscutting Concepts

    Structure and Function
    Link to Resource

    CR Resource Type

    Lesson/Unit Plan

    Resource Provider

    National Geographic


    Text Resources: Content is organized under headings and subheadings

    License Type