Lesson Plan

Animal Adaptations

Students use a variety of digital tools to explore animal adaptations and create their own Animal.
Catherine B.
Classroom teacher
Copper Mesa Elementary (Highlands Ranch, CO)
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My Grades 4
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies
EdTech Mentor

Students will be able to...

Understand the relationship between living things and their habitats

Evaluate how animals adapt to their habitat

Analyze how these adaptations help animals survive and thrive

Create their own animal from a combination of virtual "animal parts" and explain how and why those adaptations work. 


Grades 3 - 5
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Exploring Habitats-Building Background Knowledge

Students will explore a variety of habitats using PBS Kids' Wild Kratts site. 

The habitat page can be found here:


Encourage students to think about what makes these different habitats unique, as well as how they are similar to one another. 

Students should then explore the Creaturepedia, where they can learn more about different animals.  Animals are classified by habitat, group and region. 

The creaturepedia can be found at this link:


It would be beneficial for students to focus on exploring animals by habitat, and then evaluating how these animals have similar survival needs and how their adaptations help them in that particular habitat. 

Extension: Students can watch the videos clips and  play some of the games on the site, which reinforce concepts learned. 

2 Relationship Between Habitat and Animal Needs

This website has a lot of great activities, but the ones most useful for this lesson will be:


This game encourages students to build a habitat that is compatible for a specific animal.  It is self-checking--students refer to a "Compatibility Meter" to see how close they are to designing the right habitat. 


This game is a more sophisticated version of the habitat game and requires students to do more in-depth reading and critical thinking.  It looks at the "bigger picture"--similar habitats within a region, climate, plants, etc. This would be good for older elementary students.  It should be used in compliment to the habitat game. 


This activity allows students to "build" new animals using the heads, bodies and legs of different animals.  They can click on the individual animal names to learn more about that animal. Once they have built the animal, they can change the habitat background. 

Creations cannot be saved, so it is a good idea to do a screenshot capture to print or save for later. 




3 Create a Creature

This site allows students to create a brand new creature from a number of animal "parts" (legs, ears, nose, mouth, etc).  

It is a good idea to introduce this tool in two sessions: one where they can just play and be original and one where they should be encouraged to be more mindful about the animal they create and what habitat(s) it would fit best into based on the parts/adaptations chosen. 

The program will not save, so be sure to have students take a screenshot of their animal. Be sure to make sure they also capture the text that talks about how different animal parts aid the creature in adapting to the habitat.  They will need this information, and the screenshot of their animal for the next step. 

Note: This program can be glitchy and does not always display the item selected.  Usually, it is the item directly above and below it  Some trial and error is needed, but is well worth it in the end. 


Student Instructions

Be sure to add all the parts you can to your creature. 

Note: Sometimes this website is glitchy, and the animal item (and background) you select isn't the one that shows up.  Sometimes it is the item above or below it.  You may need to click around to get the right one. 

Once you have your new creature created, be sure and type your name in the spot provided. 

Very important: This site will not save your work.  Take a screenshot of both your animal and the text that tells about the unique adaptations.  You may need to take separate screenshots to do this. 

4 Show off your Creature

Free, Free to Try

Using the Tellagami App (the EDU version--$4.99, which can be found at this link),  students will create their own character from the many customizable choices. 

Import the screenshot from the previous lesson flow activity onto the device you are using.  The EDU version of Tellagami will allow you to upload a customized background--in this case, the animal screenshot.  

Students will then record themselves telling about the animal, how the adaptations help the animal and in which type of habitat the animal might do well in. 

 With the EDU version, students have 90 seconds.  

The "Gami" can then be embedded into a website or shared via email and other platforms.