Who lives in Belize?
Grade Level: 3-5
Author: Scott Byington, Cary, NC
Animals live in habitats that meet their needs for resources (food, water,
shelter, other organisms they interact with). However, not all animals
can live in all places. Animals have specific structural features, traits,
and behaviors that allow them to thrive in their specific habitat and to
interact with the other elements within it. In this activity, students
look at animal and habitat pictures. Half of the animal images and habitats
are from Belize and half are not. Students may recognize some animals and
not others. Belize, as a
subtropical nation located in Central America, provides the types of habitats
to support these animals now, but there is an ongoing threat of habitat alteration
and destruction. As habitats are altered, some animals may not be able to tolerate
the changes well and their survival could be threatened.
The Habitat image page and the
Animal image page need to be printed.
(The animals and habitats in the left column can be found in Belize and the animals
and the habitats in the right column are not native to Belize.) The answer sheet
for all images is found here.
Through the completion of this activity and a subsequent class discussion, students
will be able to:
- Name some of the animals that live in Belize
- Describe characteristics of some of the habitats in Belize and contrast those to
found in other areas
- Describe some of the characteristics (physical features and behaviors) of animals
that live in Belize
- Discuss why these animals live in Belize and not other places
(uniqueness of habitat)
- Discuss what might happen to these animals if the environment was changed
The teacher prints off either image file; glossy photo paper is best. The teacher
can either cut out the pictures or leave the sheets of pictures intact. Students are
asked to examine the habitat images and contrast them. What does each type of
environment does habitat provide? What types of adaptations might animals need
to have to leave in each place? Then students can be asked to speculate on
which animals may live in Belize and which animals live in other parts of the world.
Discussion about why animals live in different parts of the world (e.g., climate, food
availability, and ecosystems) should follow. The discussion should also include
why these animals live in Belize (the unique habitat) and what might happen to the
animals if the habitat was changed.
Students can be asked to describe what a habitat is and to Students can
be asked to name some of the animals found in Belize and
to name animals not found there. Students could also
be asked to identify animals from flash cards. Students
could also be asked to explain why certain animals are found
in certain places and not others.
Sources of Images: