Lesson Plan

Adaptations of Animals

Objectives

In this lesson, students learn the importance of adaptation and why animals need adaptations to survive. Throughout this lesson, they learn two types of adaptations and how those adaptations affect animals in their environments. Students will:

  • describe the basic survival needs of animals (e.g., air, water, and food).

  • identify adaptations that help animals survive in various environments.

Essential Questions

  • How does the variation among individuals affect their survival?

  • How do the structures and functions of living things allow them to meet their needs?

Vocabulary

  • Adaptation: A specific feature that allows a plant or animal to live in a particular environment.

  • Characteristics: Features that make plants and animals different from each other. Examples are leaf shape, body covering, number of legs, and how animals move.

  • Camouflage: A way of blending into the surroundings so that an organism cannot be seen. Also called “protective coloration.”

  • Environment: The living and nonliving things that surround an organism.

  • Hibernation: When organisms become inactive for a period of time for survival, such as during cold winter months.

  • Migration: When organisms move from one environment to another to find food or a mate.

  • Mimicry: When an organism resembles the appearance, actions, or sounds of another organism.

Duration

60 minutes/1–2 class periods

Prerequisite Skills

Prerequisite Skills haven't been entered into the lesson plan.

Materials

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Formative Assessment

  • View
    • Monitor the progress of students and provide additional support such as flash cards, books, pictures, definitions, graphic organizers, technology, and conferences to meet the need of all learners.
    • Observe students during the adaptations activities. Use the template below as an opportunity to poll the class about their mastery.
    1. I understand …

    and I am ready to move forward.

    1. I understand but have questions about…

    before moving forward.

    1. I need help understanding…

    2. I do not understand and request a conference about…

    3. This concept is challenging and I think I may need a tutor.

    • Observe students’ performance on the Wrap It Up Activity (S-4-2-1_Wrap it Up Activity and KEY.doc) and collect and assess it. The information each student presents will show you whether the student understands the concept of adaptations.

Suggested Instructional Supports

  • View
    Scaffolding, Explicit Instruction
    W

    Explain to students that in this unit they will be engaged in several activities and evaluated on the similarities and differences of plants, animals, and human adaptations; how adaptations help students live in different climates and environments; and how plants and animals would be affected if they did not have the ability to adapt.

    H:

    Students will be engaged as they do a “Where’s Waldo?” activity, which will introduce the concept of adaptations in the form of camouflage.

    E:

    Students will learn about adaptations of a fellow student to see how humans are adapted, and they will also learn about familiar animals’ adaptations.

    R:

    This activity causes students to reflect on the pictures they’ve seen as well as use the notes section of their notebook to make revisions and add additional information.

    E:

    Have students list questions they might have pertaining to the concepts from the lesson, then exchange their notebooks with three students. Each student responds to the original student’s questions. After three students respond, students take the opportunity to use that information to continue guiding their learning.

    T:

    Monitor the progress of students and provide additional support such as flash cards, books, pictures, definitions, graphic organizers, technology, and conferences to meet the need of all learners.

    O:

    This lesson progresses from whole-class instruction, to guided practice, to independent practice in order to reinforce concepts and meet the needs of diverse learners.

Instructional Procedures

  • View

    Introducing the Lesson

    Use the handout (S-4-2-1_If You Can't Run.docx). Ask students to find Waldo in both pictures. Allow students time to find Waldo.. Explain that throughout the unit, they will learn that animals use colors, body parts, body coverings, or behavior to blend in with their environment to help survive.

    Basic Needs Word Map

    On the board, create the following word map:

    l1-01rolesofanimals.PNG

    As a whole-class activity, have students identify the basic needs of animals (e.g., air, water, food, and shelter). Have students create the word map in their notes and record the answers.

    Animal Adaptations Activity

    Read the definition of adaptation to the class.

    • Adaptation: A specific feature that allows a plant or animal to live in a particular environment.”

      Tell students, “Adaptations help animals meet their basic needs, such as those in the word map.”

    Ask for one student volunteer to serve as a model for the class. Have him/her come to the front of the classroom. Together with students, make a list of adaptations that humans need to live on land (e.g., legs for walking, lungs to breathe air).

    Give students copies of the Adaptation Brainstorming worksheet (S-4-2-1_Adaptation Brainstorming.doc). This resource can be used as a transparency to write in student responses. It can also be projected onto a screen or interactive whiteboard. Have students record the adaptations for humans.

    Next, show students a picture of a fish (S-4-2-1_Fish and Frog.docx) or show them a real fish if you have an aquarium in your classroom. Place students into small groups of four and have them create a list of adaptations that allow fish to live in water. Each group should have one member who serves as a recorder and writes down the answers for the group. Each group should also have a picture of a fish for reference. Allow students ten minutes to complete their lists. Then have each group report their lists to the rest of the class. Fill in common responses on the Adaptation Brainstorming Worksheet transparency. Have each student record the answers on their own worksheet in the “Adaptations for Fish” column.

    Next, show students a picture of a frog (S-4-2-1_Fish and Frog.docx). Have students, independently, create their own list of adaptations that allow frogs to live on land and in water. After students finish their own individual lists, fill in common responses on the Adaptation Brainstorming Worksheet. Discuss how important adaptations are to surviving in different habitats/environments. Have each student record the answers on their own worksheet in the “Adaptations for Frogs” column.

    Complete the Animal Adaptations Worksheet with the class (S-4-2-1_ Animal Adaptations Worksheet and KEY.doc). This attachment can also be used as a transparency or can be projected on an interactive whiteboard.

    Have students draw their own picture of each animal that uses the particular adaptation, or print pictures from the Internet and paste them in the “Picture of the Animal” column.

    Have students complete the Wrap It Up Activity (S-4-2-1_Wrap it Up Activity and KEY.doc).

    Extension:

    • For students requiring further practice with the standards, provide a list of common adaptations to use as a reference throughout the class discussions and group work.

    • For students going above and beyond the standards, provide the following lists of animals that can be categorized in similar groups but differ anatomically. Have them compare and contrast the animals’ adaptations.

    • Penguin, eagle, ostrich, dove

    • Fish, whale, dolphin, shark

    • Mouse, mole, beaver, badger

    • House cat, mountain lion, tiger

Related Instructional Videos

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DRAFT 11/16/2010
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