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:
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).
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