To open the lesson I ask students to brainstorm as many animals that have unique characteristics. I ask that every student write down at least three animals. I then ask them to name the unique characteristic and explain how it helps the animal to survive. I then ask for students to turn and share their list with their elbow partner and decide on the best one to share with the class per pair. Students then share the animal and I ask the class to define the characteristic and how it helps the animal survive.
Without realizing it, students have given some animal adaptations that help animals to survive in their environment. I explain that what they know as a characteristic can often times be defined as an adaptation that is unique to that animals survival. I further explain an adaptation to be the way in which an animal uses and depends on their physical features to help them obtain food, build homes, and keep safe.
I give students the example of a giraffe. I ask the class what adaptation that makes a giraffe unique. Students come up with the two the long neck and the it's spots. We discuss both of these and the class makes the connection of a long neck to obtaining food and the spots to help with survival.
We then discuss inferencing for reading and how we use our schema to draw conclusions when reading. To practice both inferencing and learn about adaptations, we are going to solve animal riddles. Once we solve the riddle we talk about the clue that gave us the answer and how that clue relates to a particular structure that helps the animal to survive.