MnSTEP Teaching Activity Collection > MnSTEP Activities > Rock Residents: What Lives Under a Rock?

Rock Residents: What Lives Under a Rock?

Sandi Paulouski
Century Elementary School
Park Rapids, MN
Author Profile


This is an indoor and outdoor science experience inspired by the story, Under One Rock: Bugs, Slugs, and Other Ughs, by Anthony D. Fredericks, illustrated by Jennifer DiRubbio. The students will record in their nature journals the animals they have found after participating in our nature walk. On the third day of this lesson, the children will share their observations from their nature journals.

Learning Goals

1. Help students become aware that animals live in communities, just as people do
2. Reinforce our third grade vocabulary word, habitat.(From a prior science lesson, the students would have previously made dioramas of habitats using empty tissue boxes. These habitat dioramas are required to include a food chain, which we would also discuss on our nature walk.)
3. Bring awareness to students of which animals live in a forest, especially those whose habitat is under or near a rock

Context for Use

This lesson is intended for a third grade classroom over a period of three days. I would request the help of at least one parent volunteer to accompany us on our nature walk.

Subject: Biology:Ecology
Resource Type: Activities:Classroom Activity, Field Activity
Special Interest: Field-Based Teaching and Learning
Grade Level: Intermediate (3-5), Primary (K-2)
Theme: Teach the Earth:Enhancing your Teaching:Teaching in the Field

Description and Teaching Materials

I would read aloud and discuss the story with the children on the first day. In the second lesson, we would go on our nature walk searching for small animals listed in the story to draw and/or write about in our nature journals. On the third day of this lesson, I would have students share what they have written about and illustrated in their nature journals.






-Field notes



-The book, "Under One Rock: Bugs, Slugs, and Other Ughs," by Anthony D. Fredericks
-Nature journals, one per student
-Lap boards
-Pencils, colored pencils, crayons, markers
-Plastic spoons or popsicle sticks for digging
-Magnifying glasses
-First aid kit

Teaching Notes and Tips


Having the students share individually what they noticed on our walk and recorded in their nature journals would be their final assessment. I would model the appropriate way of speech delivery by sharing what I had observed, written, and drawn in my own nature journal.


1a. History & Nature of Science
Scientific world view: science is a tool to examine the world

References and Resources