Grassland Animals: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 What Are Grasslands Like?
  • 0:44 The Animals of the Grasslands
  • 1:15 Grassland Animals…
  • 1:29 Speed & Nesting and Burrowing
  • 2:30 Physical and Social Traits
  • 3:23 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
April Inocente
Expert Contributor
Nicola Taccone

Honours Bachelor of Physical and Health Education with a minor in English, Bachelor of Education, and Master's degree in Professional Kinesiology.

In this lesson, you will learn about the animals of the grasslands. See what kind of behaviors and habits allow them to survive and thrive in this vast open space.

What Are Grasslands Like?

Susie looked through the photo album her uncle created from his trip across the country. He took lots of great pictures of the grasslands, or areas where flat land or rolling hills dominated the landscape.

Uncle Brian told her that grasslands can be found on every continent except Antarctica. They may also feature small shrubs, woody plants, or occasional trees. They have temperate or tropical climates, meaning they are warm or hot for most of the year. Sometimes it doesn't rain for a long time, and this is called a drought. A drought can harm the grasses that animals count on for food, shelter, and protection from predators.

The Animals of the Grasslands

Susie had questions about the animals that lived in the grasslands. Uncle Brian told her that these grassland environments don't have many trees or heavy bushes where animals can hide. However, grasslands can support small animals along with large grazing animals and their predators.

Elephants, bison, cheetahs, gazelles, lions, and tigers are some of the large animals living on grasslands. Rabbits, gophers, prairie dogs, and many bird, lizard, and snake species are some of the small animals that live there as well.

Grassland Animals Survival Tools

As Susie looked through the pictures of the animals in Uncle Brian's photo album, she wondered how they survived. But Uncle Brian told her the animals that live on the grassland have special ways of living that make their survival more likely.

Speed & Nesting and Burrowing


Many of the grassland predators and their prey are very fast. They do not have the worry of running around trees and dense vegetation like forest animals do. Cheetahs can run up to 65 miles per hour, as fast as a car! Gazelles can reach 40 miles per hour. Coyotes chase rabbits and mice through the grasslands for a meal. Owls hunt small rodents.

Nesting and Burrowing

Without trees for protection from weather, temperature extremes, and predators, many grassland animals use their front legs and paws to dig burrows and tunnels very easily. A burrow is a hole or tunnel dug into the ground to create a home for small animals, like rodents, gophers, and their babies.

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Additional Activities

Grassland Animals

Chose a Grassland Animal

Select a grassland animal that interests you and use the following guiding research questions to learn more about this specific grassland animal.

  1. What continents and countries can this grassland animal be found in?
  2. What is the climate of this animal's environment?
  3. What does this animal eat? Does it have any prey?
  4. Does this animal have any predators?
  5. What special features of this animal allow it to survive in grasslands? For example: Can it camouflage with certain things in the environment? Can it move at high speeds? Can it burrow for protection? etc.

Create a Habitat

Once you have conducted your research, create a model of this animal's habitat. Your model should illustrate the following: the animal you have selected, the climate of the animal's habitat, any animals that are its prey, any animals that are its predators, any special features of this animal. You can use any materials you wish to build your model, some examples include a shoebox, sand, pipe cleaners, construction paper, and markers. To support your model, please provide a written response to each of the guiding research questions above.

Share What You've Learned

Be prepared to share your model with the class, and the information you have learned about this grassland animal.

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