Teacher Tip: This lesson is for students to identify adaptations that plants and animals possess in order to live in specific places. Students use their knowledge of habitats to identify traits organisms must have to survive, in writing, thus addressing SP7. They will also determine a mystery creature's habitat based on the adaptations it has. For this lesson, you will need internet access for the video.
To begin the lesson, students review information from the previous lesson, Habitats. They answer the following questions by analyzing the image on their student notes sheet:
ENGAGE: Describe the habitat of a desert snake.
What is the climate (weather) like?
What is the geography (land) like?
What animals may live in the community with the snake?
What niche might the snake have within the desert community?
Next, students work in small groups (3-4) students to identify the habitat of 3 different organisms. Based on the habitat, they will discuss things that organism would need to be able to do to survive their based on the food, water and resources available to that organism. They will work together, but will answer individually on their student notes sheet:
EXPLORE: Look at the organisms below, describe their habitat and what traits (skills) do these organisms have that allow them to survive in their habitat?
After the groups have completed the EXPLORE portion of the lesson, students watch a quick video clip to identify two main vocabulary words- adaptations and habitat. While watching, they record these definitions in their notes sheets:
EXPLAIN: Watch the Ecology - animal and plant adaptations video and record your responses for the vocabulary listed below.
After the video, I ask a student to share and make sure they all agree so we can have a class definition of the words.
Now, students use their new information about adaptations to address the following prompt in their notes sheet:
ELABORATE: Scientists have discovered this strange new species on a small island off the coast of Argentina.
The scientists want you to help them describe:
where this animal lives (land, water or air)
what it eats and how it eats
how it breathes
how it moves
Cut out the ELABORATE images and hand out one to each student. Based on the images, they should be able to determine the habitat this creature lives in. If it has no eyes, for example, they should infer it might live somewhere dark or where sight doesn't affect its survival.
Finally, as a wrap-up style task, students are asked to individually respond to the following question:
EVALUATE: Answer the questions below in complete sentences.
What is an adaptation? Provide an example from today’s lesson or think of your own.