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Animal Variations – Science NetLinks

Animal Adaptations


To increase college students’ information of animal options and behaviors that may assist or hinder their survival in a selected habitat.


As college students strategy this Animal Variations lesson, keep in mind that, in response to analysis, most decrease elementary faculty college students are nonetheless forming a fundamental understanding of how animals survive of their respective environments. For instance, many college students perceive a easy meals hyperlink between two animals, however many nonetheless assume that animals are nonetheless impartial of one another and rely on people to offer meals and shelter. Some college students are unaware that many animals battle to acquire satisfactory quantities of their specific meals(s) and can’t merely change their diets as different meals turns into accessible.

In earlier grades, college students noticed native crops and animals of their habitats and discovered that animals can eat each crops and one another, in addition to use one another for shelter and nesting. Now college students will likely be requested to use extra particular phrases like predator, prey, continent, local weather, and habitat.

On this lesson, college students will take part in classroom discussions and go to an internet site to be taught extra about animals and the way effectively (or poorly) they’ve tailored to satisfying their wants of their pure habitats. This can assist transfer them towards the purpose, in later grades, of understanding ecosystems.

The Kratts’ Creatures web site used on this lesson offers college students with a easy, visible means for familiarizing themselves with fundamental world ecosystems in addition to some examples of the animals that occupy them.

Planning Forward

Please word that the studying degree of the web site used on this lesson could also be considerably superior to your much less skillful readers. They could require further assist with the content material.

It’s possible you’ll wish to join this lesson with a geography lesson or a unit on the continents. Bear in mind that historically it was believed that there are seven continents on Earth, however now many geographers view Europe and Asia as one continent—Eurasia—and subsequently maintain that there are six continents. Train the idea of continents as you usually would.


Start with a overview or introduction of phrases that college students will use on this lesson (continent, local weather, habitat, predator, prey). Ask college students to clarify what is supposed by every of those phrases. If these phrases are new to your college students, you possibly can write every phrase on the board and take time to outline and clarify every of them, with examples.

Following are fundamental definitions for these phrases:

  • Continent – a big landmass on Earth
  • Local weather – the conventional climate situations in a selected space
  • Habitat – the conventional surroundings wherein an organism lives
  • Predator – an organism that lives by consuming different organisms
  • Prey – an organism that’s eaten, or preyed upon

Start the lesson by drawing a three-column chart on the board; every vertical column will symbolize an animal, and every row will comprise a query (listed beneath). Begin by asserting the invention of a captivating new animal—then select a scholar (who ought to stay silent throughout the next class dialogue) to symbolize this new animal. Ask the category that can assist you be taught extra in regards to the new animal by answering a couple of fundamental questions on its habitat.

Ask college students:

  • What we could title this new animal? (For instance, a boy named Dylan who likes to skateboard may very well be known as “Dylan Skateboardicus.”)
  • What’s the climate like on this animal’s habitat?
  • How does this animal discover shelter?
  • How does this animal discover meals?
  • Does this animal have any predators?
  • What behaviors present this animal has “tailored” to its surroundings?

Now ask college students to call a unique animal (an actual animal). Ask them the identical questions and fill within the chart. Repeat once more with a closing animal.


Have college students use their Animal Adaptations scholar esheet to go to Creaturepedia on the Wild Kratts web site.

College students ought to click on on Area to go to an exercise that enables them to find out about creatures that reside in numerous elements of the world. As soon as they click on on Area, ask college students what they see (a world map) and level out that the map is a simplified define of the entire world, exhibiting its main landmasses (continents) and oceans. Inform them that these landmasses comprise many animal habitats.

Notice: You would possibly wish to take this chance to tie in a geographical location they’re presently studying about. This can present a habitat acquainted to the scholars and let you increase on each topics.

Distribute the Animal Adaptations scholar sheet. College students ought to select a area or continent from the web site (say North America to start out) and report the title of the area or continent on the scholar sheet. They need to select an animal (for instance, a beaver) and write down notes about its local weather, in addition to record particular options and behaviors which might be diversifications to its particular surroundings. College students ought to click on on the assorted buttons related to the animal, together with: Meals and Well being, Dwelling Base, Hazard Alert, and Livin’ Creature Model. These sections present textual content and video to assist college students be taught in regards to the animal. College students ought to full the scholar sheet for every area or continent. 

After the lesson, ask college students to supply their favourite animal and its most attention-grabbing options for survival. Write the names of the animals on the board, together with their options and habitats.

Select two animals, after which ask college students to take a position.

Ask college students:

  • What would occur if the animals switched habitats?
  • What adaptation options can be helpful or ineffective within the new habitat?
  • Do you suppose the animal might survive within the unfamiliar habitat?
  • What does that inform you about how animals adapt to their environments?


Conclude the lesson by having college students choose an animal and select a brand new habitat to which they suppose the animal might presumably adapt. Ask them to explain in phrases why they suppose the animal would possibly realistically survive, and to attract an image as an instance what they’ve imagined. Of their new habitat drawings, they need to embody the animal’s meals and shelter. Lead college students in a debate over whether or not or not a specific scholar’s animal might really adapt and survive.


The Science NetLinks lesson Bird Beaks can be utilized to construct upon the ideas launched on this lesson.

MBGnet helps college students discover the world’s biomes (rainforest, tundra, grasslands, and so forth.) and its freshwater and marine ecosystems. When college students select a biome or ecosystem, they’re going to uncover all kinds of knowledge on crops, animals, and the wonderful habitats they reside in. There are additionally pictures of scholars like them who use the positioning and discuss habitats.

Journey North is a enjoyable and attention-grabbing web site wherein children from over 6,000 faculties within the U.S. and Canada discovered extra about animal adaptation and the surroundings by monitoring the journeys of a dozen migratory species. The location not solely offers data on attention-grabbing animals—like hummingbirds, manatees, bald eagles, and caribou—it additionally permits college students to make use of reside satellite tv for pc animal monitoring information, contact actual scientists, and make their very own discipline observations.

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