What Living Things Need to Survive: Animals

Contributor: Samantha Penna. Lesson ID: 11378

Animals have noses, mouths, tongues, and other features we have. What do you think they use them for? How do these help them survive? Watch a colorful video and create a colorful project about them!


Life Science

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


What do you think the animal pictured above needs to survive in the wild? What if it were your pet? Share your thoughts with a parent or teacher, then read on to find out! 

Just like plants, animals need certain things to survive.

Do you think plants and animals need similar things? Share your thoughts with your parent or teacher. Before you learn about what animals need, tell a parent or teacher the four things plants need to survive. If you need a review, go to the previous lesson in our What Do Living Things Need to Survive? series found in the right-hand sidebar under Related Lessons.

Did you say plants need sunlight, water, air, and soil? Great! You are ready to learn about what animals need!

sleeping fox

So, what do you need to do to survive?

Did you say eat? Fantastic! Animals need food to survive. Without food, animals would not get the nutrients they need to survive. Food gives animals the energy they need to be active. Have you ever gone a day without eating enough? How did that make you feel? Probably not so good, right?

panda eating

What do you drink every day? Tell a parent or teacher.

Did you say water? Great! Animals need water to survive. Some animals get their water from streams and lakes. Others animals, like people, get their water from wells. Water is very important for animals! Water helps animals stay hydrated. Going too long without water can cause animals and people to become sick and weak. Without water, animals would not be able to survive.

horse drinking

Another important thing animals need is shelter. Your home is your shelter. Do you think you would be able to survive out in the open with no roof over your head? All animals need shelter. Humans live in homes, apartments, mobile homes, and townhomes. Animals can live in burrows, caves, trees, and barns. Animals need shelter to protect them from cold or hot weather, precipitation, and predators. Without shelter, it would be very hard for animals to survive.

bunny in shelter

Lastly, animals need air to breathe. Without oxygen, animals would not be able to breathe. We need plants to create oxygen for us to breathe. Can you remember what photosynthesis is? Tell a parent or teacher what photosynthesis is. Photosynthesis happens when a plant takes the energy from the sun, nutrients from the soil, water, and carbon dioxide, and creates food for itself. After the plant creates the food, it gives off oxygen. Animals and people breathe oxygen.

snail on plant

Excellent work! You know all the things animals need to survive. Tell a parent or teacher the four things animals need to survive.

Did you say food, water, shelter, and air? Nice job! Move on to the next section to learn more about what animals need to survive.

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