Topic – Natural Habitats and Humans

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Read the Following Selection

Read about natural habitats, or click on the play button below to listen aloud.

Natural Habitats and Humans

What Is a Natural Habitat?

A natural habitat is not made by humans. Examples include deserts, forests, rivers, oceans,
and lakes.

Cities are habitats for many living things. Plants, birds, insects, and squirrels live in cities. Humans create cities. Cities are not natural habitats.

How Do Humans Depend on Natural Habitats?

Humans depend on natural habitats. Look at some ways natural habitats help us.

Wood and paper products: These are made from trees that grow in forests. Wood is used to build homes and furniture. Wood is also used to make paper, paper towels, and tissues.

Oxygen: Oxygen is an important part of the air we breathe. Humans can not survive without it. Plants and trees make oxygen. We need forests to make oxygen.

Food: Most of our food comes from farms. In some places, people get food from nature.
They hunt animals. They gather plants from nature.

Flood control: When lots of rain falls quickly, floods can happen. Rainwater flows into rivers and streams. These can overflow into the land around them. Floods can damage people’s homes. They can destroy the crops in farmers’ fields. Wetlands, such as marshes and swamps, help control floods. Wetland plants act like sponges, absorbing much of the water. Without wetlands, floods would be worse.

Medicine: Many ingredients for medicine come from plants. Many of those plants are found only in natural habitats such as forests. For example, willow bark relieves pain. It is a chemical used in Aspirin®. New plants are being discovered. Some may be used to make medicines.

Recreation: Natural habitats are fun. Whitewater rafting happens on a river. Downhill skiing needs a mountain. Lakes are great for swimming, boating, and waterskiing. Lots of people enjoy hiking or camping in forests. These activities need natural habitats.

Now, show what you know!

Complete some questions about the reading selection by clicking “Begin Questions” below.

Brain Stretch: Using information from the text and your own ideas, write about how natural habitats are helpful to you and your community.