STEM: Plants & Animals (Basic Needs)

Time Required: Two 45-60 minute sessions
Skill Level: Beginner
Recommended Grades: K to 2nd

In this lesson, students will work in pairs using the 3Doodler to create the two rings of a Venn-Diagram, as well as symbols representing the basic needs of plants and animals. Students will arrange the rings and symbols to correctly compare and contrast them. *One session may be utilized for doodling and the other for comparing and contrasting with Venn-Diagram.

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Lesson Plan


Step 1

Whole group: Review the basic needs of plants and animals with students. Chart their responses on the board.

Step 2

Discuss ways in which these needs overlap or are specific to plants or animals.

Step 3

Share the goal: Students will use the 3Doodler to create a model of the Venn-Diagram rings. Students will create stencils of symbols representing the basic needs of plants and animals. Students will overlap the Venn-Diagram rings and place doodled symbols of the basic needs in the proper areas of the diagram.

Step 4

Model how to doodle Venn-Diagram rings using the Venn-Diagram Stencils. Note that students can use a wider back and forth motion to fill in the rings. This uses less plastic. *See Appendix.

Step 5

Project your computer or tablet screen on the board for the students to view the Basic Needs Doodle Worksheet relevant to their grade level. Tell the students that they will need to determine which symbols go into each sections of the Venn-Diagram.

*Not all of them will be needed.

Step 6

Explain, then demonstrate, how to doodle a symbol.

Example: Doodle a sun for sunlight.

Step 7

Discuss how some symbols will fit on the plant side, how some will fit on the animal side, how some will be shared, and how some will not fit into their Venn-Diagrams at all. Students will need to discuss each symbol with their partner to determine its placement.

Step 8

Hand out the Basic Needs Doodle Worksheet and pencils to each pair. Check students' work on the stencils before allowing them to doodle.

*On the Kindergarten Basic Needs Doodle Worksheet, symbols have already been added. Note that the bowl is a universal symbol for food/nutrients for both animals and plants. Share this information with students.

*On the Grade 1-2 Worksheet, the students will draw their own stencils, and then doodle on top of them to make doodles for the activity.

Step 9

Circle to assist and assess as students arrange doodled symbols in their doodled Venn-Diagram.

Step 10 - NOTE

When reviewing basic needs, the higher level vocabulary may be used additionally or interchangeably with some terms, i.e., nutrients, oxygen, carbon dioxide, energy.

Wrap Up

Have pairs display and present their Venn-Diagrams with the whole group. Share the students' Venn-Diagrams and symbols on Twitter. @3Doodler #3DoodlerEDU


The teacher will assess the students by evaluating the placement of symbols in their Venn-Diagrams, as well as their feedback during their presentations.

Possible Extensions

Students will create symbols for their own human basic needs and compare them to plants or animals using the Venn-Diagram rings. Students may use the previously doodled symbols and Venn-Diagram rings. Students will compare and contrast the basic needs of plants and animals from different habitats.


  • air - the invisible gaseous substance surrounding the earth, a mixture mainly of oxygen and nitrogen.

  • animals - any member of the kingdom Animalia, comprising multicellular organisms that have a well-defined shape and usually limited growth, can move voluntarily, actively acquire food and digest it internally, and have sensory and nervous systems that allow them to respond rapidly to stimuli.

  • basic needs - The minimum resources necessary for long-term physical well-being of a plant or animal

  • carbon dioxide - a colorless, odorless gas produced by burning carbon and organic compounds and by respiration. It is naturally present in air (about 0.03 percent) and is absorbed by plants in photosynthesis.

  • collaboration - to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor.

  • energy - the strength and vitality required for sustained physical or mental activity.

  • food - any nutritious substance that people or animals eat or drink, or that plants absorb, in order to maintain life and growth.

  • grow - (of a living thing) undergo natural development by increasing in size and changing physically; progress to maturity.

  • oxygen - a colorless, odorless reactive gas, the chemical element of atomic number 8 and the life-supporting component of the air. Oxygen forms about 20 percent of the earth's atmosphere, and is the most abundant element in the earth's crust, mainly in the form of oxides, silicates, and carbonates.

  • plants - a living organism of the kind exemplified by trees, shrubs, herbs, grasses, ferns, and mosses, typically growing in a permanent site, absorbing water and inorganic substances through its roots, and synthesizing nutrients in its leaves by photosynthesis using the green pigment chlorophyll.

  • problem-solving - the process or act of finding a solution to a problem.

  • shelter - a place giving temporary protection from bad weather or danger.

  • soil - the upper layer of earth in which plants grow, a black or dark brown material typically consisting of a mixture of organic remains, clay, and rock particles.

  • space - a continuous area or expanse that is free, available, or unoccupied.

  • sunlight - light from the sun.

  • water - a colorless, transparent, odorless, tasteless liquid that forms the seas, lakes, rivers, and rain and is the basis of the fluids of living organisms.

Educational Standards

Common Core

Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

In This Lesson

Students will discuss the basic needs of plants and animals with the whole group, as well as with their project partner.

Common Core

Build on others' talk in conversations by linking their comments to the remarks of others.

In This Lesson

Students will build on the talk of others during the group discussion and with their partner throughout this project.

Next Gen Science
2-LS4-1 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.

In This Lesson

Students will compare and contrast basic needs of plants and animals. In the extension activity, students will compare the plants and animals of different habitats.

Next Gen Science
K-2-ETS1-2 Engineering Design

Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.

In This Lesson

Students will design and doodle stencils to represent the basic needs of plants and animals.

CS Teachers

Decompose (break down) a larger problem into smaller sub-problems with teacher guidance or independently.

In This Lesson

Students will break down the process of determining the basic needs of plants and animals through stages of designing, modeling, doodling, discussing, and arranging the symbols in a doodled Venn-Diagram.


Use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.

In This Lesson

Students will use a 3Doodler to create tactile models symbolizing the basic needs of plants and animals, and they will use the 3Doodler to create a Venn-Diagram.


Create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.

In This Lesson

Students will interpret concepts, draw stencils and doodle symbols that represent the basic needs of plants and animals.


Use collaborative technologies to work with others, including peers, experts or community members, to examine issues and problems from multiple viewpoints.

In This Lesson

Students will work with a partner and with peers throughout all stages of this activity.

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