Day 1

First things first! Begin your process by reading through the following sites in order to get a better understanding of animal adaptations in general.


1. Explore this page as a group to learn what animal adaptations are. What are Animal Adaptations? Learn more about adaptations here. 

2. As a group, examine Dirtmeister’s Science Reporters Animal Adaptations page. Read examples of how sharks, foxes, raccoons, and bears all use different types of adaptations.

3.  Think you understand animal adaptations? Play these games as a group to test your skills! (Make sure to read the directions before playing)

Mission Adaptation Game

How Animals Meet Their Needs




Professor of Protective Coloration


Your role as Professor is to research four types of camouflage: Concealing coloration, disruptive coloration, disguise, and mimicry.

You are concerned about how animals use camouflage for protection and survival. While you are doing your research, you will use a worksheet to answer several important questions about your topic. At the end of the project, you will need to turn in the completed worksheet to your teacher.

Use the websites below to answer the questions on your worksheet about protective coloration.


Foxes: Camouflage

Animal Camouflage and Coloration Pictures

Peppered Moths in England: Light to Dark to Light again


Specialist of Structural and Behavioral Adaptations


Your role as Specialist is to examine two particular types of animal adaptations: Structural and Behavioral Adaptations.  You will use the following websites to conduct your individual research. As you are exploring, use this worksheet to help you organize your information.


Structural adaptations are adaptations that involve some part of an animal's body, such as the size or shape of the teeth, the animal's body covering, or the way the animal moves. Can you determine the structural adaptations of the animals featured in these websites? (Remember, there may be other types of adaptations listed, but you must determine which ones are structural)


Use the websites below to answer the questions on your worksheet about structural adaptations.



Platypus Fur


Polar Bear



Behavioral adaptations are activities that help an animal survive. Behavioral adaptations can be learned or instinctive (a behavior an animal is born with). One type of behavioral adaptation is social behavior (if an animal lives by itself or in a group). Another type is behavior for protection. An animal's behavior sometimes helps to protect the animal. Can you determine the behavioral adaptations of the animals featured in these websites?


Use the websites below to answer the questions on your worksheet about behavioral adaptations.


Zebras Communicate


Squirrel Monkey




Master of Migration and Hibernation


Animals migrate for different reasons and in different ways.  Visit this website and watch this video to learn more about Migration


migration information

migration video


Read about the Arctic Tern, Monarch Butterfly, Caribou, American Robin, Bighorn Sheep, Atlantic Salmon, crabs, sea turtles, frogs and toads here  and then match the animal to the description of how it migrates.


Hibernation is another factor that you have to take into consideration that the mystery animal could have undergone over the past 1000 years. Click here to learn more about hibernation and how animals that don't hibernate or migrate survive. 






Final Steps


1.     You all should now have a better understanding about the specific roles that you play in animal adaptations. Now you’re ready to start to create your animal illustration! First, use the note taking page in your packet to organize your research for your drawing. Make sure to complete this page in your packet.


2.     Now that you’ve done some research and the creative juices are flowing, you should start creating your illustration. Remember that the reason for this illustration is to predict the types of adaptations that the mystery animal has made to its environment. You must also write a paragraph explaining your illustration and why your group chose the adaptations that they did. Using the illustration and paragraph as a guide, create a puppet to show the adaptations of the creature. 


3.       After completing your drawing and paragraph and puppet, it is time for the group to plan how you will present your research and predictions to the President and Congress. Remember, your group’s presentation should convince the President and his advisors that your illustration of the animals’ adaptations are correct, so be sure to justify your predictions! Use persuasive arguments!


4.       You’re ready to present! Your teacher will tell you where and when you will be presenting your research and illustration to the President. Good luck!