Lesson plan

Animal adaptations for Primaries

Choose activities from modeling how different animals eat, comparing animal skulls and skeletons, build animals with fins and wings.
skeletons, barnacles, wings and fins, eye cards
Science content
Biology: Features, Adaptations of Living Things (K, 1, 3, 7)

Set up activities as stations or for the whole class to work on.

Introduction and focus
Animals need to 1. find food, and 2. run away and hide from other animals that want to eat them.
Animal 'adaptations', or their features help them do this so that they can stay alive.

Activity descriptions:

In a circle, carefully pass around prey and predator skulls, looking at the shape of the teeth, then the placement of the eyes, and for how they help an animal find food, and escape being eaten.

Model different ways that animals eat with animal eating styles activity (grabbing, stabbing, sucking, sieving).
Review the different tools that students tried with images of animals eating in the different ways.

Find camouflaged animals in photos. Camouflage helps animals hide from predators, as well as hiding to get closer to prey.

Some animals don't have legs. They have wings (like a bird) or fins (like a fish).
Build fins and wings onto playdough bodies to create your own winged/finned animal.
Look at a sheet of birds and fish drawings for real examples and ideas.

Build a skeleton of a deer or look at a snake skeleton. Compare how the skeleton is different from ours, and how each of our skeletons help us survive.

Look at barnacles feeding - they don't have legs and they can't move, but they have their own adaptations to eat and survive.

Look at pictures of different animal eyes - so many shapes and colours, but all for seeing surroundings, finding food and avoiding predators.
e.g. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Animal-Eyes.jpg (but no labels!)

Grades taught
Gr K
Gr 1
Gr 2
Gr 3