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Amazing Animals Adaptations!

Fourth Grade Science, Writing

by Amanda Clarkson September 27, 2015

Students put their knowledge of animal adaptations to the test when they create a new creature with its own
unique set of adaptations!

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to determine various ways that an animal could adapt to a specific habitat.

Materials and Preparation Key Terms

American Landforms worksheet (one per adapt

student) habitat
Various art supplies, such as construction physical adaptation
paper, markers, scissors, and glue camouflage
behavioral adaptation


American Landforms

Introduction (5 minutes)

Start by asking students to discuss the following question: What do people do to adapt to winter weather?
Tell students that adapt means to change something about your appearance, behavior, or surroundings
to make it easier to live and survive.
Have some students share out. Students may say things like: wear winter clothes, use blankets, salt the
sidewalks, and stay indoors.
Tell students that animals must also adapt to their habitat, or place where they live, to survive.

Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (10 minutes)

Tell students that there are two basic ways that animals adapt to their habitats.
One way is by changing the way that they look. This is called a physical adaptation. For example, a
deer can camouflage, or blend in, with its brown forest surroundings. A duck has webbed feet to help it
swim in the water.
Ask students to share some other physical adaptations that they know of.
Another way an animal adapts to its habitat is by changing the way it acts. This is called a behavioral
adaptation. For example, a bear hibernates in the winter. Geese fly south for the winter.
Ask students to share some other behavioral adaptations that they know of.

Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (5 minutes)

Explain that students will be creating a new animal! They can use supplies to draw a picture of their
animal or create a three-dimensional replica.
First, students will read the worksheet American Landforms. Then, they will choose the habitat in which
their animal will live.

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The animal they create must demonstrate at least two physical adaptations.
When students are finished creating their animals, they must write about the two physical adaptations as
well as two behavioral adaptations that their animal has.
Model choosing a habitat and creating an animal. Engage the class in discussing the physical adaptations.

Independent Working Time (40 minutes)

Pass out the American Landforms worksheet and have students silently read it.
When students are finished, they should choose a habitat in which they would like their animal to live.
Students should brainstorm what their animal will look like, how it will act, and what it will be named.
Give students ample time to create their new creature and write about its adaptations.


Enrichment: Have students research animals with interesting adaptations, such as those that live deep
in the ocean or those that live in the Galapagos Islands. These students can later share their findings with
the class.
Support: Once these students have chosen a habitat, give them guiding questions to come up with
adaptations. For example: How will animals in the Rocky Mountains adapt to the year-round snow?

Related Books and/or Media

WEBSITE: National Geographic Kids: Animals

Assessment (5 minutes)

Use the students' written work to determine that they understand the difference between physical and
behavioral adaptations, and that their adaptations match the landforms and climate of the habitat.

Review and Closing (5 minutes)

Have students set their animals and written work on their tables or desks. The class can walk around the
room and look at their classmates' creative work!

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