Teaching Life Science with Children’s Literature: Home for a Bunny

Home for a Bunny, written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Garth Williams, offers a great way to introduce students to animal habitats and the differences between various animals, all while helping a cute little bunny to find a home.

It is spring. The robins are chirping, the frog is croaking, and the flowers are blooming. This is the scene in which a little brown rabbit sets out in search of a place to call home: “Down the road and down the road he went. He was going to find a home of his own. A home for a bunny, A home of his own. Under a rock or a log or a stone. Where would a bunny find a home?”

During his search, the bunny meets several different animals and asks each one where it lives, hoping that he can share its home. First, he finds a mother robin and her babies high up in a tree. The bunny realizes that he cannot live there, stating “Not for me, I would fall out of a nest. I would fall on the ground.” Next, he finds a frog living in a bog. Again, the bunny recognizes that this will not make a good home, as he would surely drown in a bog. The third animal he meets is a groundhog who lives in a log, but when the bunny asks if he can come in, the groundhog selfishly says no. So he continues “down the road and down the road” until he meets another bunny. This pretty white bunny shows him her home under a rock. When he asks to come in, she happily says yes and that becomes the bunny’s new home.

This book contains beautiful illustrations of the bunny and all the other animals he meets. Children can clearly see where the different animals live and will laugh in agreement as the bunny explains why he cannot live in a tree or a bog.

Curriculum Connections
Home for a Bunny
would be an excellent book to use as part of a unit on animals and, more specifically, as an introduction to animal habitats. After reading the story, teachers could discuss with their students why the bunny cannot live in a tree or under water in a bog. The students could compare the various characteristics of the animals in the story and sort animals based on where they live. In Virginia, this book relates to Science SOLs K.6 and 1.5, which state that students will understand that animals have basic needs (including a suitable place to live) and can be classified according to certain characteristics (including water homes versus land homes).

Because the story takes place in spring, it could also be used as part of a lesson on seasons (science SOL 1.7a-b). The beginning of the book explains several aspects of spring, such as leaves budding on trees, flowers blooming, and baby robins hatching from eggs.

Additional Resources

  • Here is a link to a lesson plan about animal habitats, which includes an internet scavenger hunt related to animal homes and a writing activity in which students compare an animal home to their home and then write a friendly letter to that animal inviting him to sleep over and explaining the accomodations that would need to be made
  • This Home for a Bunny lesson plan contains a “Where do I live” webquest about animal homes, a bird nest making activity, and a Venn Diagram activity for sorting land versus water animals.
  • Students will enjoy playing this interactive on-line Habitats Game, which explains how certain animals are best suited to live in the antarctic, the desert, a grassland, a farm, a forest, a pond, the sea, or a tropical rainforest.

Book: Home for a Bunny
Author: Margaret Wise Brown
Illustrator: Garth Williams
Publisher: Golden Books
Publication Date: 1956
Pages: 19 pages
Grades: K-2
ISBN: 0307105466