Amazing Animals & Adaptations
Are your students intrigued by studying about animals? My third graders always loved the animal stories in the basal reader the best. (Yes, we had basal readers and this was in 2013!) One of our favorite stories was about an eccentric old man that visited areas of the woodlands, swamps, bogs, and grasslands. His story was fiction with factual information abut the animals sprinkled into the story. Perfect! Read, add some science and research, create animal booklets, and build animal models.
Fast forward to the STEM Lab! How can I still create excitement about amazing animals and follow our special STEM classroom? Well, I have a treat for you! So many of my ideas are now reality and these resources are already made for you!
In this post, for your convenience, you may find Amazon Affiliate links to resources. This means that with your purchase of items Amazon will pass on small percentages to me. This will not create extra costs for you at all! It will help me keep this blog running!
On the Agenda today…
These are the topics we will cover today! Are you ready for Amazing Animal Resources?
- Animal Adaptations Escape Room
- Reading Comprehension worksheets
- Worksheets (graphic organizers) and posters
- Boom Nonfiction Reading Cards
- Animal Adaptations STEM Challenge
- Escape the Rainforest (digital breakout)
- Rainforest Task cards and Boom Cards
Let’s Start with Escape Rooms
I have two animal escapes (actually I have 2-3 in addition to the ones shared today, but that’s another blog post).
This is a traditional escape room with boxes and real locks. Students complete three tasks and escape. Each task gives the students a number clue which will open a box and inside the box they find their next task. The last box reveals the STEM Challenge they will complete.
This Animal Escape includes matching vocabulary and images to the types of adaptations, math problems, and secret code. The STEM Challenge is to build a model of an animal showing its adaptation. (More about this below!)
There is some prep involved with this type of escape, but here is a tip— Print and laminate all the parts for the escape and then save these pieces in a large zippered bag or envelope. Bam! You are ready to use the escape in the future with everything already prepped!
This escape is totally digital- all in Google slides and Google Forms! Here is the background or scenario: Students are lost in a rainforest and must use their knowledge of animal adaptations to find clues needed to escape. Students have four tasks.
- A reading selection about the chameleon has a code word leading to a jigsaw puzzle.
- Reading selections about two animals and questions to answer.
- Reading passages about kinds of adaptations.
- A secret code to decipher a message and then match photos to descriptions of camouflaged animals.
- Unlock Form- students fill in the codes they collected. The answers are self-checking and students cannot advance on the form until the answer is correct.
Each task gives students a “lock code” that is placed in a Google Form to see if they have escaped!
I have the perfect STEM Challenge for amazing animals! It’s an Animal Adaptation challenge.
Students build a three-dimensional model of an animal and the model must share the adaptation of the animal.
There are two ways you can do this. You can have students research animals and find an animal they can build or you can have students invent an animal and its adaptation. The latter choice is much more challenging.
In this STEM Challenge, I find that most teams choose the more obvious animals- the penguin, jungle cats, or animals with tusks. Overall, it’s a great assessment for their understanding of what an adaptation is.
This challenge is included with the Animal Adaptations Escape Room and can be purchased separately. I found some great pipe cleaners one year that looked like animal fur and we loved using those. Also, I put out my large bag of feathers and kids love those, too! Those are optional materials- we also build these models just using construction paper, craft foam pieces, and cardboard tubes!
I have the perfect book for you to use as you introduce this challenge! It’s called What Do You Do with a Tail Like This? I have it linked for at the end of this post! The book shows images of the body parts of different animals and then reveals which animals are pictured. It includes details about what the body parts are for. Perfect for adaptations!
You are going to love this set! It combines nonfiction reading and task cards!
This set of Amazon Task Cards features four pages of magazine-styled reading selections. The nonfiction text features are marked and students use the task cards to respond to text features and content questions.
The magazine pages and photos are in brilliant color or you can opt to use the black/white versions of the set!
You will have to print and laminate, and cut apart the task cards, but it’s a set you can use over and over after that initial prep time!
Amazing Animals Boom Cards
If you prefer a digital set of task cards I have you covered. Look at how gorgeous these sets are!
You may notice that this set looks exactly like the one above! Yes, it does! It is virtually the same set, but all the reading passages and task cards are displayed on slides in the Boom format.
Each slide includes one of the reading passages and one question. There may be some questions in the Boom set that are not in the printable set! So fun! Self-checking and in brilliant color with no printing for you!
This set features adaptations of animals. Students choose the kind of adaptation or choose the correct vocabulary word for the description.
The set is decorated with photos of animals, but no printing for you!
This set features multiple choice questions or drag and drop questions.
I have two different ideas for you that can help with your science and reading cross-curricular planning.
Yes, you read that right! Just choose the page you want, print it, and students are ready to go! There are four reading selections and a magazine page with three graphic organizers!
- Selection 1- How Do They Survive?
- Selection 2- Can You See Me?
- Selection 3 – Do Animals Learn?
- Selection 4 – How Can We Protect Them?
- Newspaper Page- 3 articles with separate question page and 2 graphic organizers
The first four pages are provided in two reading levels. The only page with color on it is the magazine page, and it’s included in black/white! Perfect for small groups or homework.
This resource includes 19 posters showing animals and adaptations or the different kinds of adaptations. You will also find written work for your students.
- Graphic Organizer with space to write about each category and create lists.
- Graphic Organizer for students to draw and write about three animals.
- Vocabulary Matching sheet.
- 2-page quiz based on the poster information.
- Word search puzzle featuring adaptation vocabulary.
Total fun and it works perfectly with any of the other resources.
I know you have found some amazing animals things your students will love! Add these to your science or reading studies or even in the STEM Lab. Some of these resources are perfect in the lab on days you must have a substitute!
You might also enjoy these round-up posts!