Parent and Offspring - Changing Addresses

You’ve seen traits that can help an organism’s survival in one environment can actually hinder, or hurt its chances someplace else.

In this activity choose one of the topic prompts below or create one of your own. Each is about an organism out of its natural environment. Your goal is to write a creative story about the trials and tribulations faced by the unhappy organism that you can share with a younger student.

Be sure to include real facts about traits and environments. Look creatively at the obvious problems your hero will face. Your objective is to inform a younger student as well as entertain.

Remember to follow the steps of the writing process.

IDEAS: A good story has a beginning, middle, and satisfying ending. How did your organism come to be misplaced? What is its name? How will he/she survive? How will they adapt? Will they return home?

DRAFT: Get your ideas written down quickly. Don’t worry about spelling and naming conventions yet.

REVISE: Look at your beginning sentence. Does it grab your attention? Look at the ending. Will a younger student be satisfied with the ending?

EDIT: Check your spelling and punctuation.

FINAL DRAFT: You may want to have your teacher, parent, or older friend edit your story one more time before you do your final copy.

PUBLISH: Create a book of your choice! Here is a sample book (pdf)

Topic prompts that you can write about….

  • polar bear in Florida
  • cactus living in a swamp
  • porcupine being raised by kangaroos
  • fish in love with a bird
  • alligator in the arctic
  • penguin in Phoenix, Arizona
  • shark in a small pond
  • elephant in Alaska
  • camel in Canada
  • pelican living on the prairie
  • cockroach at the south pole
  • gopher in a redwood tree
  • seahorse in the Colorado River
  • crustacean in Cairo, Egypt
  • puppy in a pod of killer whales
  • iguana in Siberia

Camouflage is a great way for an animal to adapt to its environment. Camouflage can protect an animal from predators or help it sneak up on prey by making the animal blend into its environment.

The Camo Challenge!
Snakes are a great example of a species that uses camouflage as an adaptation. Snakes such as rattlesnakes that live in the desert have different colors and patterns than bright colored snakes that live in tropical areas. 


  1. Click here to see just the snake in a new window in order to print it.
  2. Your challenge is to secretly choose a spot in the classroom where you would like to “hide” your snake using camouflage.
  3. Color and design your snake so it will blend with the hiding spot you have chosen.  Note: you cannot hide your snake underneath other objects. You many only use camouflage to hide your snake.
  4. Cut out your snake.
  5. Each student in the class will hide their snake. This will be done in two groups. Half of the class will put their heads down while the other students place their snakes.
  6. After you have placed your snake, have the students who put their heads down search for snakes.
  7. After spending about 3-4 minutes searching for snakes, switch giving everyone a chance to hide and search for snakes.

Which snakes were the most difficult to find? What made them so difficult to find?

utah state board of education This Sci-ber Text was developed by the Utah State Board of Education and Utah educators.