Skip Navigation

Specialized Structures and Adaptations

Main Core Tie

Science - 5th Grade
Standard 5 Objective 2

Time Frame

3 class periods of 45 minutes each

Group Size


Life Skills

  • Thinking & Reasoning
  • Systems Thinking




Organisms survive when they are well-adapted to their environment. If their environment changes, some may be selected to survive over others because of certain variations in the group of organisms.




Computers, Library Books, Microphones

Background for Teachers


Animals come in all shapes and sizes. They live in all kinds of environments, or habitats, from sandy deserts to frozen plains. Animals that have features or behaviors that are well suited to their habitats are more likely to survive in that environment.

Student Prior Knowledge

Introduction to specialized structures such as wings, feathers, fast legs, fins, and how they help an organism survive in a particular environment.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students should understand that certain behavioral or physical variations in organisms allows some organisms to survive in any given environment and fail in another.

Instructional Procedures


  1. Have a discussion with students about their favorite animal. Why is that animal special? What is the habitat of the animal? What about the animal makes it successful in it's environment? Would a polar bear do well in the hot Arizona desert? Would a Chihuahua do well in the Arctic? Why?
  2. In pairs the students should look at library books and online sites to investigate animals and choose one.
  3. Students should write a paragraph or two in first person. They should explain why they, as that animal, are well-adapted to their environment. They should name the characteristics (traits) that help them to be successful.
  4. Students will find a photo of the face of their animal and save it to their computer or personal drive.
  5. Students will use the site Blabbercise to record their paragraphs as their animal
  6. Students will take turns sharing their Blabbercize with the class.

Strategies for Diverse Learners

Gifted students can do more than one animal. Teacher or volunteer can assist struggling students in the writing.


Science Net Links, Blabberize

Created: 04/17/2013
Updated: 01/28/2018